China – Leapfrogging

Albert Wenger, partner at Union Square Venture, has a great blog post on China and leapfrogging traditional commerce (retail).

If you look at Africa, there are no landlines in the continent.  They leapfrogged straight to cellphones due to availability of cell technology.

Same thing can be seen in China today when it comes to Ecommerce.  Outside of main centers, there is no “highly developed brick and mortar retail sector”.  “E-commerce, accessed from a mobile device, can be native purchasing behavior for many Chinese instead of requiring a behavioral switch.”

Example: Xiomi – sells Android phones directly of the internet.  Google tried this a few years back but the existing retail vertical (with subsidized phone from carriers) didn’t allow it to exist in US.  Yet it’s thriving in China.

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