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How can i find companies in china to do business with over the internet.

I buy and sell commodities and I am trying to get the cheapest deal possible but i am having trouble finding trustworthy companies in China.

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    Oct 3 2011: What would you like to do?

    Maybe I can help.

    I live in China and my wife and I own a trade company. If we can't help you, we might be able to make some useful introductions.

    Oh, and in China, it's all about "guanxi" (literally "relationships") ... establishing guanxi over the internet is not really viable (the "relationship" with you would not be seen as important. It's too distant (socially) and too impersonal.)

    What that means is you might establish a connection with a company over the internet but the Chinese company would not feel compelled (by social convention) to honour it very highly. Agreements are not seen as important: It is completely appropriate, within this environment, to expect agreements to be altered - even unilaterally - if circumstances change.
    • Oct 4 2011: Thomas,
      Do you have a business e-mail address?

      I would love to discuss your opinions on investment strategies in China. As someone living there, your observations could be most helpful.

      Or, if you do not mind answering some questions concerning cultural/economic matters here, perhaps we could begin a thread on the topic?

      My wife's father travels to China somewhat frequently to oversee Hamilton Beach's production facilities and to train engineers, but his experience is somewhat insulated. My areas of interest are -

      As the individual becomes more and more empowered to invest in China, what trends do you expect to see initially? Are they quickly attempting to hedge against the awful inflation problems via precious metals? Or are they culturally accepting the notion of investing not to maintain but to prosper, and thus seeking riskier investments? In other words, where do you see capital in China moving in the next 5-10 years?


      *Do not be reluctant to inform me your consultation is not free, if you wish to.
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        Oct 4 2011: Hi Seth,

        I'll send you a personal message through TED with my e-mail address.

        I do have a passing familiarity with the economic and investment climate here but it is not my primary focus. I tend to invest in (or through) Canada, where I am from, and focus more on business development here in China.

        I'm happy to share what information I have with you. And if you require more in-depth knowledge, I can make some introductions or have one of our accountants do some research for you.
        • Oct 4 2011: Hi Thomas.

          I am interested in doing business in China as well. But i have a few questions i would like to ask somebody who is actually in there. Do you mind if i ask you few questions ? Could you contact me or give me your email ?

          Thank you.
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        Oct 4 2011: Hi Tisho,

        I clicked on your profile but there was no link to contact you directly. So if you have any questions, you might as well ask them here.

        I'll answer them if I can.
        • Oct 8 2011: Hi Thomas,
          Im sorry for my late answer. And im also sorry for not providing my email address.
          I have already write it down on my profile so i would really appreciate if you contact me.

          Thank you.
    • Oct 5 2011: do you have any experience with websites that are used to connect people? Marah posted below about some but im not to used to them. Or how can direct contact be acheived? i dont know anyone that speaks chinese right now.
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        Oct 6 2011: QUOTE: "do you have any experience with websites that are used to connect people?"

        In China?

        Not really. There is a social network here called "QQ" and it's very popular. I think there are some other B2B sites as well.

        We do not use the internet for business. As I said, business is based on relationships so it requires face-to-face meetings, eating together, drinking alcohol (bai jiu) together, and so on.

        My wife speaks fluent Chinese. I speak a little.

        Direct contact is made through introductions (guanxi.)
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    Oct 4 2011: You could passively advertise yourself through a website like, and perhaps someone will hook you up with a connection. I personally prefer a more upfront approach, but I hope it works for you.
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    Oct 3 2011: You can try some sites like Alibaba or something. I've been hearing a bunch of stuff about scams and such though.

    You might wanna look up Globial. It's basically a cross between facebook and a business marketplace. You upload your info, products, etc and then you can comment on things, follow people, ask questions, add contacts, search for other small businesses, etc. It certainly gives a lot more info about potential partners when you can see what they've been doing online and ask questions from people they're trade partners with. They're supposed to be launching in October. They've got a signup page already at and I've been asking about the platform on twitter and facebook.