We want to monitor the Internet from China
It has been more than two years now that I’ve been living and traveling in China, which is an amazing country.
People are lovely, motivated and full of energy, the country is beautiful, the diversity of cultures is impressive, and business opportunities are everywhere — literally. But things are different than what we’re used to.
Entrepreneurs, when coming to China, usually spend years studying the market before trying to start anything. The truth is, a lot of similarities exist and they’re making it even more difficult to understand the specific points on which we, Westerners, need to adapt our behaviours and habits.
Trying not to sound cliché, here is a (non-exhaustive) list I made of some notable differences:
- Social relationships: It’s all about connections. Guanxi. While it’s common Western culture to meet through social events, meetups, afterworks, etc., it is not in the Chinese culture. Relationships here are built through contacts and networks; in other words, one needs to be introduced.
- Copying vs. adapting: We’ve all heard a lot of critics with regards to China and its trend to copy, then rebrand existing products/services. The truth is significantly different. Noting the differences between cultures and people’s habits, we noticed that products Westerners were using never adapted to the Chinese market. When gaining access to these technologies, some Chinese companies decided to “micro-innovate” by adapting Western solutions to the Chinese market. Things are changing today. Most Chinese Netizens are more used to international products. However, there still exists a problem with accessibility.
- The legal aspect: China and the law… This is a difficult point to describe due to its complexity, but it had to be listed. Put simply, China is, legally speaking, not an easy country to do business in for a foreign national. Don’t be afraid, solutions exist.
- Internet access: China has the largest population of Netizens, with about 700 million people connected to the Internet. However, due to its network infrastructure, foreign hosted services are sometimes (often) difficult to reach.
Being myself a software engineer, and an aficionado of technology in general, I know how this last point can be a huge one.
There are multiple reasons why a service may be difficult to access, such as the non-respect of point #3 (i.e. the legal aspect), or the use of a service not respecting it, for example. Realizing that everyone yearns for a better situation, a friend and I started to work on monitoring different services in China.
This is how Enter The Wall was born. We want to help you create services that are fairly accessible to the largest population of Netizens, while giving them better access to the awesome products you are everyday building.