Joseph Wong is the vice president of Made-In-China.com, which was developed and is operated by Focus Technology Co, Ltd. Focus Technology is a pioneer and leader in the field of electronic business in China and was founded in 1996 with the mission of enabling clients to decrease costs and increase sales and profits with effective Web-based solutions
SM: Joseph, where do you come from? What is the story that led you to Made-In-China.com?
JW: I come from Hong Kong and I joined this company in 1999 as an engineer. I have been responsible for the operation and quality side of Made-In-China.com since 2000.
SM: How big was the company when you joined?
JW: When I joined the company there were ten employees.
SM: It sounds as though the company had just started.
JW: The company started in 1996.
SM: what was happening in the company from 1996 to 1999?
JW: The main business of the company is the Web hosting service for the export company in Jiangsu Province. The export company set up a website and the company had originally set up e-mail systems for the exporting company. Our web hosting business lasted from 1996 to around 2004. Between 1996 and 2004 we put a lot of investment into the set-up of the information architecture and information management systems. Additionally, between 1998 and 2004 Made-In-China.com did not generate very much income. Regardless, we still put a lot of resources into the Web architecture.
SM: The company did not generate any income from 1998 to 2004?
JW: The Made-In-China.com website did not generate any income. We still had our Web hosting business.
SM: So Web hosting was the original business that supported the company through 2004?
JW: Yes. Everything came from the Web hosting service.
SM: How much revenue were you generating out of that business?
JW: Our company had received a very small angel investment in 2000. We used the angel funding and the income from the hosting business to build Made-In-China.com. The angel funding was less than $1 million. The Web hosting business made about $20,000 per month.
SM: So what made you decide to set up Made-In-China.com at that point? What were your objectives?
JW: I mentioned that when the company was originally stood up our main clients were export companies. When we set up the Web hosting service and e-mail services we found out that these kinds of companies depended on the Internet a lot. This was the genesis of our idea. They were very interested in the services we had to offer. That led us to the idea of setting up a portal where we could gather all of those companies together. We could then bring that portal to the world. That was the concept we had in 1998. We also felt it would be a great accomplishment if we could introduce a website presenting products made in China.