Chapter 11: The development of electronic commerce in China
Ping Lan INTRODUCTION The proliferation of the internet and the world wide web as vehicles for business has made electronic commerce (e-commerce) a hot topic in the business world. However, systematic examination of the development of ecommerce in China is still lacking, although much has been written on various issues related to the topic. For example, Pyramid Research (1999) explores China Telecom’s restructuring; EIU (1998) outlines the battle between ministries and agencies for the prefered electronic data interchange (EDI) and the internet; Lawrence (1999a) analyses changes in Chinese attitudes towards the internet; and BDA (1999) documents the network infrastructure and main stakeholders in China’s Internet development. This chapter aims to synthesize previous studies and outline the current applications of internet tools in China, some barriers to e-commerce development and various changes brought about by e-commerce. The chapter is divided into the following sections. The following section sets up a framework for checking the evolution of e-commerce. It combines Kalakota and Whinston’s (1996) discussion of the content of e-commerce and Urbaczewski, Jessup and Wheeler’s (1998) analysis of factors affecting the successful operation of e-commerce projects. The third section scrutinises China’s development of e-commerce at the component level. It discusses the dual imbalance in China’s current e-commerce development, in terms of e-commerce content. The ﬁrst is the rapid development of EDI, but lag in business-to-customer transactions. The second is the wide application of internet technologies, but poorly developed internet business sense. The fourth section analyses two considerations of the Chinese government in...
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