Usually, consumers bid for what they want to buy on the web. But on Shajia, an e-Commerce site, incubated by Innovation Works, it is the suppliers bidding for orders of mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras, and other consumer electronics.

The idea came from the company’s founder, Peng Lin. He had worked for Tsinghua Tongfang, a leading PC manufacturer in China for 10 years before starting his own company. Before he left Tsinghua Tongfang, he was the general manager of its consumer product department, overseeing the company’s business of PC and notebooks for the whole country.

“At Tsinghua Tongfang, we distribute our own products. Our network has to cover every place in China, not only the major cities, but every small town and county,” said Peng. That is how he understood the distributor network in China for consumer electronics.

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Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...