Playing both sides of USA and China Internet

In china business, usa by Michael Michelini9 Comments

Had dinner tonight with a couple guys from Paypal China, while here in Shanghai. I am talking to them about payment processing, merchant accounts, IPs in different countries. First of all, CHINA IS GREAT in the fact that I go to a Paypal office, can meet a representative, and then GO OUT FOR DINNER AND DRINKS WITH THEM. Haha, I would never expect some kind of service like this in Paypal USA!! never, ever!

They are not used to talking to many americans about Paypal china. Their written english is great, but spoken….well… barely there. Of course that is probably even better then my Chinese!!

Anyway….we discussed how its such a balancing act between USA and China

in USA, lots of the banks, ebay, and paypal want you to be in USA if you have business there. So many chinese here in China would love to utilize an ebay USA account, as they can then come higher in the ebay search results for domestic USA customers searching (ebay prioritzes each country’s searches by the country the buyer and seller is in first, and then puts the international below).

So my being in China as a USA business forces me to use VPNs and other gateways to get into a USA location and then seem to ebay and paypal that I am surfing the website from America.

And on the Chinese government side, they keep blocking and banning more of these VPNs and gateways, as they do not want people in their country to access websites that do not comply with their censorship (ie twiter, facebook) Remember the news about Google China leaving China? Yea…..well, if they stopped listening to the chinese government about filtering their search results, they would have to leave, and did.

So anyway, it is getting harder and harder to do what I do from within the GFW (great firewall of china) as both USA makes it harder to seem like you are in USA and China makes it harder to get outside of their walls!

There is a quote I just found on twitter:

“If you’re not having problems, you are missing an opportunity for growth.” ~ Anonymous

And that is how I am trying to live. Sure, everyone questions why I struggle so hard…and sometimes I do say “damn, why don’t i just go back and work from USA, things are so open and easy to do business” but I cannot give in to the temptation. I am trying my best to maximize value on both sides.

As Jay Xie from Webpower Asia told me in a meeting yesterday, Americans will see my as a China inroad, and Chinese people will see me as an inside track in USA market. I have to play both of these sides. It is like a double life, but it the value I am trying to build in myself and business around me.

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    1. Author

      yea……we always curse GFW in the office and around the local internet community here in China

      its almost embarassing for the younger chinese ……as they can’t do anything about it, and hear me and other foreigners cursing it.

  1. Seems like the work in china includes havin dinner n drinks after work??.. Somehows cool tho I’m glad that I dun hav to do that after work ;p I only hang out wit frenz after work~

    mikey uv gone so far! Gotta struggle til the end! Go big or go hm!!! X

    Like me, u r the bridge as well haha. The bridge of china n USA, here n there on the Internet~ while I’m the bridge of ppl~ doin hook ups haha

    1. Author

      yes Lammy, you definitely are the party queen and social connector

      thats why you gotta get on TWITTER more……thats the place to network quickly

  2. i’m trying to get on twitter everyday but….really dun hav much frenz there….almost all r still on fb n whenever they’v update on twitter, it’s sync to fb as well…. ;P

    1. Author

      i think i told u the story. facebook tried to buy twitter last year, twitter didn’tagree. so facebook copied them.

      facebook is easier to use, yes – but – as you can tell, they are trying to be more OPEN – ie reducing the privacy settings……TO COMPETE WITH TWITTER

      twitter, you put a status update – ANYONE CAN READ IT. notice when i tweet something, someone i never heard of replies to it. or he passes it down to his friends. then then his friend will contact me and have a CONVERSATION with me.

      then i made a new contact.

      facebook i am TRAPPED IN A BUBBLE of the same friends I know already in life.

      twitter, I am always meeting NEW PEOPLE – focused around the area i live in, or the topic / industry i am talking about.

      twitter is open, viral, and massive networking

      facebook is……(as they say) a place for friends (or was that myspace)

      now facebook is BACKTRACKING – today they increased their privacy to how it was before, because their users WANT TO BE IN A BUBBLE

      that is the difference with twitter and facebook – privacy

      and twitter people do not worry about the world seeing their tweets- THEY WANT TO

      facebook users are SCARE to open their tweets (ooopps, i mean “status updates”) to everyone in the world.

      So facebook tried to copy twitter, but realizing now its users are PRIVATE not open.

      so facebook kinda bores me, i just keep talking to the same people every day about bullshit, where in twitter i talk about something and can meet new people

      they are completely different in my opinion.

  3. somehow i dun even hav time for my own frenz….
    so i’m still exploring in the bubble ;P

    n i do need some privacy n not ready to show my faces to the whole world yet…so, i still dun like twitter~

    u know i’m not as bold as u do 😉 x

    1. Author

      true, you do have so many friends in real life- party queen!!

      but, twitter helps you find more people who do what you do in your professional and hobby life – i have found some great internet and ecommerce people in china from twitter.

  4. May need that when I’m in Europe ;p but I also got some frenz in Europe, just not as many as Hk

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