Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
General Mills Inc. suffered from rumors spread by Chinese bloggers and forum users that its Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream factory in Shenzhen was unsanitary.
Most Americans think the Internet in China is censored.
Criticizing the government is out, but there are few constraints on going after businesses, unless, perhaps, they are government owned.
In thousands of forums, the mainland’s millions…make that 53 million Chinese who visit online forums regularly…freely point out:
1. poor customer service
2. misleading company ads
3. shoddy safety standards
4. and anything else….
The Chinese are indeed vocal and active when it comes to commenting on business says a chief executive at CIC Data in Shanghai.
General Mills Inc. was accused of operating out of an unsanitary factory in the southern city of Shenzhen. Shenzhen does NOT have a Haagen-Dazs ice cream factory.
But, that didn’t make any difference. The company still took a hit.
A market research group in Shanghai was quoted in Businessweek, “A company can get really screwed if they don’t pay attention to bloggers and online forums.”
Taobao is the Chinese version of eBay. When 62% of its 20 million customers balked at a paid version, CEO of Taobao, Jack Ma, said: “Let’s take it down.” Reason being – “We listen to our customers.”
General Mills, Inc and others would do well to listen to their customers in China as well….maybe even ask before they sell a product.
What do you think?