June 13, 2006


Sam&Michelle forwarded a request from a friend working at a Web 2.0 content-aggregation company. He noticed a Chinese site bearing an eerie resemblance to their own and he needed a Chinese-reader to check it out.
58.com Oodle

Turned out that the Chinese site was pretty much into the same field, albeit without the Web 2.0 secret-sauce like tags and aggregation. Certainly close enough in intent such that the similarities in appearance is beyond the possibility of coincidence. At least they might have a contact window with the Chinese site via their VC Softbank Asia. I doubt they'd get the time of day if they tried to talk to the Chinese company directly.

Now the real question is, how do you end up with a Bay Area tech company without a Chinese-speaking person somewhere on staff? Maybe Chinese nerds just aren't a part of the New Paradigm.

Not that life is any easier for those of us actually making the donuts out in the Mysterious Orient. Not even China's vast labor force can keep up with the insatiable American consumption, and labor costs are rising fast in the coastal regions.

According to government figures, minimum wages — which averaged $58 to $74 a month (not including benefits) in 2004 — have climbed about 25 percent over the past three years in big cities like Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai, mostly by government mandate.

Not to mention they're enforcing the overtime rules more strictly, too. Of course, workers complain if they have to work too much overtime, but they complain and quite if there's not enough overtime, too, since that cuts into their pay packet. Time to invest in more automation. And maybe some pollution control.

Posted by mikewang on 06:49 AM