China Heart EBay: The Perfect Commerce Coupling

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Oh, sure, we all take eBay for granted – it's been around almost as long as the internet it seems. Clive Thompson, however, takes the Eastern point of view for Fast Company. He calls microretailing the next wave of capitalism in China, a country where "virtually no one has a checking account, and only 1% of the population has a credit card." EachNet and Taobao, however, fought the good fight in a culture where inspecting merchandise and haggling are a must and eventually created their own eBay-like escrow system that polices transactions.

Thanks to their hard work, online auction businesses now abound. "The old China," writes Thompson, "was the soccer ball of dubious provenance that you bought at the mall; the new China is a friendly guy named Zhang with an apartment full of custom-made MP3 players and 2,000 positive reputation points on eBay."
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