My humble suggestion is this: next time, if you don't have a good reason to recite publicly a litany of unfounded assumptions about an entire country and people, don't -- write something like this instead:
> Incredibly impressive. I know nothing about China.
(If you have to preface your statements with "This may sound horrible and racist", they probably are.)
It seems (to me, at least) that you're saying it so aggressively and childishly, your comments are likely to be discarded and ignored rather than considered.
Re: reasonable position
If you have an epiphany that you've been operating on stereotypes (which in this case are racist, IMO), and you want to share the wonder of having your eyes opened to something you couldn't see before, the first thing to do is not to stream those now-understood-to-seem-racist misconceptions -- especially with no discussion of them. You could, instead, talk about what you learned, or why you believed those bad ideas.
And I don't mean why, as in, "because some friends had a bad outsourcing experience." I mean, why are you operating on stereotypes and unfair reductions, especially when you already admit they are wrong.
What would you think if someone said,
"Amazing job. I know it's racist, but I always thought blacks were too busy sitting on their porches drinking 40s that they bought with welfare money. I know too many friends who've had bad experiences with black people. It must be really hard to run for President."
Would you think such a person is having a genuine epiphany and sharing true insight into their own misguided worldview? I would think that the author of the comment is doing a bad job of it, at best. At worst, I would think that person learned nothing, but would like to say something anyway.
I do maintain that it is, in some sense, a "reasonable" position for a racist to be more offended by incivility than by racism. Not ideal, or even good, but certainly understandable.
And, this doesn't even mention human rights.
If you take off your politically correct hat for a moment you'll see that the comment "cheap, hacky, non-reliable, lawless, and poorly done" is warranted and quite generous in its phrasing.
It's not racist (since China isn't a race), and it's perfectly ok to make statements about a countries exports. Just as its ok to say that Swiss trains run on time, Swedish cars are built like tanks and french wine is good stuff. Not every french wine is great, and not every export from china is crap, but most french wines are good, and most chinese cheap plastic goods are crap too.
And there are exceptions on the cheap stuff too, for example I just bought an Aoson M11 Android tablet for 125€ from there and the overall quality seems very good.
Taobao is one of the three biggest IT company in China. It is composed of taobao(C2C), tianmao(B2C), alibaba(B2B), yahoo China and etao(shopping search).
Moreover, you must know that on October 30, 2012, China's largest online book retailer, oldest B2C electronic business, the first landing Nasdaq China's e-commerce company, Dangdang, declared to join Tianmao.
Finally, I should say as Ma-yun said : I am very cruel, more brutal tomorrow, the day after tomorrow is very beautiful, but most of the dead tomorrow night, only those who are the real heroes to see the sun on the day after tomorrow.
single all the way!
single all the way!
The average citizen in China does not use any foreign websites to do anything . All the services you and I consume online are replicated in China by Chinese companies. From Gmail to Yahoo!, from Facebook to twitter, from Amazon to eBay, from CNN to FOX.
It's really no surprise you haven't heard of this (I haven't either). Very few such Chinese sites even attempt at marketing themselves out of mainland China (notable exemption being the original Alibaba marketplace to great effect, Taobao is apparently a different site by the same group). It's fascinating how the internet has so effectively bridged other cultures while keeping others at arm's length - even when connected and technically accessible.
For every site that is created in a western country in english there is a chinese equivalent that will pop up within a few months that caters to chinese users and the chinese language. Western companies just dont care enough about the chinese users to create sites that they would be comfortable using
Maybe the censorship issues caused by the governmental firewall coupled with murky rules for doing business over the web in China, doesn't exactly translate into a business friendly environment?
This is false, actually the GFW is built in parallel with multiple backbones, which in very high bandwidth the censorship fails from time to time.
(I'm sorry, this comment isn't like me, but I couldn't resist.)
(Of course there's always the political problem, the knockoffs are often State-sponsored etc etc, but I bet they'd suffer in face of superior competition, if they actually had real competition.)
Same goes for Russia.. and in smaller scale to some other countries.
A word of caution, if something goes wrong your money is almost certainly lost. Sometimes the firm that you bought it from has folded (I've had this happen in the time it took to deliver the order) to the seller sending bricks. It is buyer beware to the extreme but usually for the price you are paying you can afford to lose the occasional shipment and still save money.
On the one hand, compared to Amazon.com, Taobao sounds like a horrible shopping experience. On the other hand, compared to a shuk (or whatever the Chinese equivalent is), it is a vast improvement.
Context is everything.
(1) Shops are absolutely crap scared of a bad review. Shoppers avoid bad reviews like the plague, and there's normally so much competition that you can always find an alternative. The 1 time we gave a bad review, we had a call from the seller within 1 hour offering all manner of things for us to take it back.
(2) Delivery is excellent - next day courier services. Taobao practically revolutionised the postal service in China because the national postal system was so bad. So, 10RMB (around £1) can get you national, next-day delivery for most small items (eg. a small parcel).
(3) The mobile site is awesome, full stop.
(4) There's just so much choice. I can buy official, full price products from the brand (ie, not a reseller, but the actual company), or 2nd hand, or knockoffs. Most knockoffs are clearly marked as such.
(5) Safety - it's not a direct payment system per se, but an escrow service. If you aren't happy in any way with your product, you click a button and the seller gets nothing.
Taobao has one factor that generally makes it better than ebay and most other online retailers and auction sites: it is the sole source of income for many companies that sell through it. Many Chinese manufacturers are only selling their products through the alibaba ecosystem so they really care about their reputation. That is why they get defensive or start offering all sorts of things to remove bad reviews, because it can shut down their whole revenue stream.
There is aliexpress also which is in many languages.
That said, even after his explanation of "it's kind of like amazon prime" I still don't understand what's going on here.
Googling "singles day" explained everything.
The 1st-Jan is considered to be small singles day, then "11th-Jan" and "1st-Nov" the middle singles day, and "11th-Nov" the ultimate singles day.
Again, AFAIK everything goes through ZhiFuBao. It's an escrow service in fact, so the buyer must confirm receipt of the item before any money goes to the seller. There's no COD, and that's part of the success (people in China are very worried about scams and had zero faith in online shopping before Taobao setup their system). You can pay using most mainstream credit cards/banks in China, although I think things like AMEX or mastercard aren't supported.
The 11.11 fest began in 2009
2010-11-11: RMB 0.936B in Alipay
2011-11-11: RMB 5.2B in Tmall+Taobao
2012-11-11: RMB 19.1B in Tmall+Taobao
Don't know about commissions but given how fiercely competitive the market is (and most of the competition is on price) there is no chance the fees are anything like ebays (taobao is chinese ebay/amazon).
Side note but interesting: most of the sellers there offer live chat customer service. You see something you want and you can immediately IM the person through taobao and ask questions, make modifications to the order and bargain on the price. It's awesome and so common that it's basically expected.
The discounting began a month before Nov 11 where the price of the item is set as the ceiling, from the then price can only be made lower.
The single quotation mark is filtered by HN comment system
That being said, it still seems dubious--given China's online population of 538 million people, that's $5.7 average per person spent, which is a little higher than the average per person expenditure for last year's entire Cyber Monday ($1.2 billion according to the article, and around 210 million people online in the US as of February 2011 according to an online source makes about $5.6). In a country whose average urban per capita disposable income is around 10x lower than the average per capita disposable income in the US overall, I'm taking this with a grain of salt.
Anecdotally, I believe it. Everyone I know was buying stuff that day, and not in small amounts - I bought 2 years worth of toothpaste, some baby products, shower gel... average per-order value needs only to be 180RMB, 86RMB per reported user, which isn't a lot of money at all here, despite income disparity.
It's also all over the news in China too, as far as you trust that :)
Some app in Java, and more and more app will in Lua. We just changed the ad system and take more than 200% up qps/pc.
Taobao runs almost entirely on Nginx-Lua-MySQL. And I mean entirely. There is no application server just Nginx. And every request is non blocking all the way from user to database and back. Very, very fast.
In fact one of the developers from Taobao wrote the Lua integration.
I think that is the most interesting part. It's pretty incredibile how efficient taobao is in such an inefficient country.