China’s eBay-MySpace

from the Pew Internet & American Life Project:

In China, the concept of guanxi ranks right up there with air, water, food, love, and tea as an essential of life. Air and water are becoming compromised in China, but not guanxi. In its simplest translation, guanxi means connections or relationships. The concept is really far more complex than that, easily the stuff of dissertations. I found one blogger’s struggle to define the social capital of guanxi appealing. He said the important qualities are whom you know; whom the people you want to know know; whom the people you already know know. Or something like that.

As it was only a matter of time before Chinese internet entrepreneurs would try to monetize guanxi, along comes Zhike.com. The site, which has attracted a flurry of attention in the Chinese press lately, is described as a kind of eBay for guanxi. The idea is to provide a virtual meeting place for people who have guanxi to sell or guanxi they want to buy. (more . . .)

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