While American and European companies set out to build a website, top Chinese businesses continue instead to clone them. Those companies then often sell their clones to better known businesses at a profit. While it might sound sketchy at first, ChinaHR is an excellent example of how this is done. The job search site sold to the far more popular Monster.com for over $200 million in US funds. The reasons aren’t merely because they set out to clone a website, but because top Chinese movers and shakers think different about the marketplace. That’s why they’ve become so dominant, and are even starting to maneuver their way into traditionally foreign marketplaces.
Chinese Website Clone Businesses
People often unfairly criticize Chinese businesses who refuse to build a website from scratch, but what they miss is that they do far more than that. They neglect that they rethink and reinvent business models all together and that seriously helps them to produce something original from sites that might have otherwise been seen merely as remakes. That’s helped indigenous Chinese businesses to prevent Western organizations from moving into their economic neighborhood.
Chinese entrepreneurs are learning that consumer goods markets as well as digital ones are growing side by side in the Chinese economy, which means that they’re able to operate individual Web organizations that mirror the marketplace. There’s an entirely different focus on the way that business is done as a result. Most importantly, local fragmented companies can more influentially do business on a large national scale.
It might not be immediately obvious what this has to do with anything in regards to copying existing Internet businesses, but it illustrates that when people are looking for something and the Internet has a way of doing it better people will flock to the Internet. Therefore if Chinese businesses get to the idea first locals will start to use it, and even if the Chinese site is apparently a copy of a Western one, the Western site will have a hard time making inroads into the Chinese economy.
There’s another aspect that the Chinese Web designers excel at that seems lacking in the Western originals. Each site is focused on practicality. While new features are constantly being built into Western sites, that same push for features isn’t nearly as important to Chinese consumers. Internet users in China would much rather concern themselves with how well a site works.
Take the idea of dating sites for example. Recently a business was launched in China that closely resembles Match.com, but the site was focused on practicality. Additionally it was designed around the nuances of Chinese dating. As a result it was able to be very competitive in the market and started to have people turn away from more traditional matchmaking businesses, while at the same time proving to be so popular that the actual official Match.com portal was more ignored by Chinese consumers. It’s a two-pronged approach that’s extremely effective when it comes to marketing things.
Making a Site Clone Work
While it might seem more honorable to build a website from scratch, its very clear which direction the market is moving in. Chinese consumers will continue to flock to sites that are not only geared toward local individual needs but also work more practically than Western ones. Eventually many of these sites sell to more expensive portals. As a result its important to keep in mind that every time someone goes to build a website they may very well be copying something.
Google, Bing nor the Chinese Baidu was the first search engine. Few would call any of them a rip-off though, and Western designers could learn some lessons from Chinese business partners. There are many elements of success that could be reproduced by companies who are willing to take something existing and make a more competitive version of it. Either way everything should work out if they know something about the customer base in question.