The dynamics of e-commerce in China are very different from the US. Let’s dig in!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to your company and yourself. Tell us what you do and your background. We’ll take it from there.
Jacob Cooke: We are located in Beijing, China. We’re a company that started out about five years ago. We focused on digital marketing and technology development. We were at the ground floor for the whole e-commerce revolution in China and have morphed into a full-service e-commerce agency which includes store build-outs, logistics, legal services, and basically all the little stuff that are needed along the way to market entry. I’m sure your audiences has heard of the news about Alibaba. There are a lot of startups and entrepreneurs that have worked in the ecosystem and have done quite well to service clients and drive revenue for the organization.
Sramana Mitra: Can you take some examples of specifically what you do for what customers? Take two or three of your customers and walk us through those use cases.
Jacob Cooke: Let’s start out with one of the first ones. In the B2B roles, there’s incredible opportunity. There’s a lot technology that’s available both in life sciences and industrial management technology. One of the earlier large clients we had was the Dana Corporation which operates in roughly 60 codes in China. Specifically, we’ve been dealing with their Life Sciences division. More specifically, what these companies do in terms of digital strategy was to always rely on hosted and managed ecosystem whether they were in Germany or United States. That poses a whole bunch of problems.
Back in those days, with the firewall, customers couldn’t actually access that information. All of these companies that I’ve just mentioned are industry leaders but that technology wasn’t available here. We have a bunch of simple tools that solve these problems. That basically allowed us to put infrastructure inside China and host it here.
Sramana Mitra: Why is that such a big deal?
Jacob Cooke: We don’t have a Google over here. Baidu is responsible for over 60% of all Internet purchases as they start with a search on Baidu. If you don’t have that specialized license which is required to host from a country, you can’t get your information. In addition to not being ranked, even if you were doing direct marketing out here, the sites that aren’t hosted in China are first to be throttled. In the big cities like Shanghai and Beijing where they’ve big demands on their networks, it’s unreachable during the afternoon and peak times right when we are trying to get most of our leads.