Tag Archives: China

Meet the Team: Yin


LightInTheBox.com has a lot of busy staff and they’re just dying to meet you! Today we’re getting to know Yin. She’s the fun-loving social media person in charge of MiniInTheBox on Facebook and Twitter. If you like gadgets you’re going to love Yin. Let’s find out more about her…

Who are you?
I sit behind you all day…you really don’t know? I’m Yin!

Oh that’s very YINteresting. See what I did there?
Yeah I see. Great.

What’s your job?
Aside from making the world a happier place with my laughter?

Yeah your laugh is crazy. Like a jackal on helium. What’s your job though?
I don’t laugh like that! I work in the creative content department. I develop content and do social media for LightInTheBox and MiniInTheBox. I’m in charge of all social media for MiniInTheBox so that’s my main duty these days. I’m always trying to keep in touch with customers on various platforms such as Twitter & Facebook. I announce our promotions and try to stir up some fun interaction. I also run games and contests.

What is MiniInTheBox?
MiniInTheBox.com is LightInTheBox.com’s sister site. It specializes more in small things, hence the name. All sorts of tech and gadgets. You’d be surprised how many products we have there, thousands of different items and a lot of them are really cool. Like any good online retailer, MiniInTheBox.com needed a social media platform to reach out to customers, so here I am!

What do you like best about this project?
We get new product arrivals every week, so it’s a lot of fun browsing through the new gadgets. I usually go through and find some I like to post on Facebook and Twitter. If it’s not cool, I won’t promote it. We’ve also got a pretty solid group of fans now who know about gadgets and like expressing their opinions. It’s a lot of fun.

I see you sometimes discuss sales issues with customers on Facebook and Twitter. Is part of your job customer service?
I think a common misunderstanding is that I’m on MinInTheBox for customer service. Actually I’m just the person responsible for MiniInTheBox on Facebook and Twitter, so I serve as a mediator between customers and customer service whenever there’s a problem. So in a nutshell, I’m the person that personally answers all customer questions on MiniInTheBox Facebook and Twitter.

So you personify, personally, the person who personally peruses customer problems and persuades customers to perhaps participate in prodding the prudent personnel? Personally?
You lost me.

What’s your goal for MiniInTheBox on Facebook and Twitter?
We’re trying to maintain and grow our presence on Facebook and Twitter by updating our fans and customers about the newest gadgets and by attracting more fans who love gadgets as much as we do! It’s about building a community.

Now back to you. Where are you from?
I was born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. I moved to Amsterdam later on, so I sort of grew up in both places.

Amsterdam is famous for…
Clean drinking water?

I was going to say windmills.
Sure you were.

What languages can you speak?
I speak Dutch, English and Cantonese fluently. I’m conversant in other languages like French, German and Malay. My Mandarin is coming along too.

What brought you to Beijing?
Well…my grandparents are from China. I wanted to learn more about my roots. Other than that, my main motivation was to learn Chinese. My parents taught me Cantonese, but not Mandarin. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn.

So now that you’re here, any plans on leaving?
Not yet. Why, do you want me gone?

I’ve had my eye on your chair…
I’d take the chair with me.

Hey come on, leave me the arm rest or something. Can’t we go Dutch?
I’ve got other things to do today, you know.

Sorry. What’s your favorite band, TV show and movie?
I like so much stuff hmmm…Skunk Anansie & The Shins. For TV shows I love Colbert Report and Glee. My favorite movie is Hudson Hawk.

Hudson Hawk? Are you serious? That movie where Bruce Willis is a singing thief? The ridiculous musical?! *laughter* that’s like the worst film of all time!
No, in Holland it’s very popular.

Are you kidding? No, you have to be joking!
When we were kids we all played Hudson Hawk, instead of cops and robbers or whatever you guys played.

Oh wow that’s…I’m speechless. OK. Wow. Moving on…Describe yourself in three words.
Outgoing, caring and diligent.

OCD?
Gotta go!

Well Yin is off to wash her clogs over and over again. Check back for more insightful fun with our friendly and sometimes entertaining LITB staff.

China’s “Made in China” TV Commercial

My former colleague Kaiser Kuo introduced this video on Youku Buzz today. Here’s his latest post:

This 30-second commercial spot, commissioned by the Ministry of Commerce and four other industry groups, began running on CNN in late November and is slated to run in North America as well in coming months. “When it says made in China, it really means made in China, made with the world,” a voiceover tells us over images of products manufactured in China but with, say, American sports technology, French design and so forth. Creative is by DDB Guoan.
It’s clearly meant to allay fears about “cheap Chinese goods,” and I suppose about the trade deficit that so many of China’s trade partners run. The commercial, in my reading, is intended to convey the notion that the high-value-add, like design and marketing, are still safely back home with Apple or Nike while we Chinese are just doing the low-value-add manufacturing and assembly portions. That’s in fact mostly the case right now, though China is of course trying to change that, and move up the value chain. Doubtless there was some debate between the more assertive message — China’s becoming more than just factory to the world — and the more reassuring message — “Don’t worry, you guys in the West are still much more innovative and marketing-savvy than we are.” In any case, Chinese commenters got that message. As one writes, “Made in China, but designed in XX……设计和最终销售、品牌——他们吃了多少啊?!我们赚得太少了……” (”Design and final sale, branding — how much have they eaten? We’re earning too little…”)

Of course for all its efforts to reassure, many in the West will still view this as an aggressive declaration, an attempt to paper over damage done by shoddy and even dangerous exported goods from toys with lead-based paint to poisonous pet food to corrosive drywall, or just as an unwitting admission that China is still incapable of innovation and therefore worthy of contempt. Can’t

win.

This 30-second commercial spot, commissioned by the Ministry of Commerce and four other industry groups, began running on CNN in late November and is slated to run in North America as well in coming months. “When it says made in China, it really means made in China, made with the world,” a voiceover tells us over images of products manufactured in China but with, say, American sports technology, French design and so forth. Creative is by DDB Guoan.

It’s clearly meant to allay fears about “cheap Chinese goods,” and I suppose about the trade deficit that so many of China’s trade partners run. The commercial, in my reading, is intended to convey the notion that the high-value-add, like design and marketing, are still safely back home with Apple or Nike while we Chinese are just doing the low-value-add manufacturing and assembly portions. That’s in fact mostly the case right now, though China is of course trying to change that, and move up the value chain. Doubtless there was some debate between the more assertive message — China’s becoming more than just factory to the world — and the more reassuring message — “Don’t worry, you guys in the West are still much more innovative and marketing-savvy than we are.” In any case, Chinese commenters got that message. As one writes, “Made in China, but designed in XX……设计和最终销售、品牌——他们吃了多少啊?!我们赚得太少了……” (”Design and final sale, branding — how much have they eaten? We’re earning too little…”)

Of course for all its efforts to reassure, many in the West will still view this as an aggressive declaration, an attempt to paper over damage done by shoddy and even dangerous exported goods from toys with lead-based paint to poisonous pet food to corrosive drywall, or just as an unwitting admission that China is still incapable of innovation and therefore worthy of contempt. Can’t win.

Branded in China (Part 1): Feiyue Shoes

Branded in China is a series of posts by Steven Lin about the Chinese brands that have successfully entered the global market in very interesting ways. Five posts are planned for this series, but Steven could be persuaded to do more if you like them.  Here’s the first one:

Branded in China: Feiyue Shoes

Almost every Ba Ling Hou (post-1980 born) Chinese like me had several pairs of Feiyue shoes in their childhood. Back 30 years ago, the price for a pair was more than RMB 10 (US$ 6.7 at the time), not cheap for an ordinary Chinese family. So my mom would always say, “Hey, it’s expensive. You should take good care of them.”

She couldn’t have imagined that by the 21st century, Feiyue would had  dramatically evolved into a fashion brand and the price for a Feiyue in France would be EUR 50 — Fifty times more expensive than the original price in China in the 1980s. “The brand is now set to conquer the walkways of Western cities,” was a description found on their international website.

Feiyue’s move to Europe has been retold in many media reports. It goes like this: a French artist named Patrice Bastian discovered the canvas sneakers in Shanghai years ago. He was immediately fascinated by the design, so he went to the manufacturer Top One, where he received authorization to modify the sneakers before selling them in Europe.

The ironic part of the Feiyue story is that before Hollywood A-list stars like Orlando Bloom were spotted in Feiyue shoes, which suddenly refreshed them as a symbol of fashion and increased the price, it had already been long forgotten by local Chinese consumers. The local metropolitan consumers knew only (or at least paid attention to) Converse and Vans.

When looking back at the story of Feiyue, we find that for the most part it reflects how brands work for Chinese consumers — If Hollywood celebrities think the brand is fashionable the Western magazines will give it the green light, and if it has a half-way decent website then consumers will change their minds immediately: “Hey, it’s not the ordinary shoes we wore decades ago! It’s now a French brand!”

Sounds silly? Hmm…. a little bit. But don’t forget that the quality produced by Chinese manufacturers and the original style had the potential to be “fashionable” and guaranteed Feiyue’s success on the global market.

P.S. The Feiyue shoes on Lightinthebox.com are all sold out, so there’s no need to question if this post is an advertisement for the products. ;)