Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Chinese Fraud and Email

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 6, 2013

Did you ever wonder why your Chinese business associates give you some @163.com email addy instead of ‘bigchinacorp.com’?

I used to think that Chinese companies were too tight to shell out for proper company named email, but now I know better. Good friends have told me that Chinese companies do have emails, but their employees slowly shift away from using them. For instance, after your first meeting or so, they will say they have been having problems with their electronic mail and tell you to start writing them at some public email account. They say it is less problematic and can handle bigger accounts, etc.

The real reason, or so I am told, is so there is no direct paper trail, which comes in handy when you are scamming. For instance, you send them a client list or a quote and next thing you know, they have passed it along to their friend who just so happens to run a competing firm. Yu lose, that firm wins, and you are s.o.l. Of course you can complain, but what proof have you got?

In addition, anything you send to them on their alternate email is not shared with the company, so even if they wanted to do something about it, they cannot.

The key in China is risk mitigation and this means to always consider that they are out to cheat you.

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