The piece originally appears on LinkedIn, we reproduced it here under Kaifu Lee’s authorization. Kaifu is the founder of Chinese incubator Innovation Works , he also served as Google and Microsoft VP.

A few days ago, I had a chance to try a particular brand of frozen dessert maker, which was only available in the United States. I sent out a “tweet” in China on Sina Weibo, sharing my experience.

To my surprise, this tweet was retweeted over 100,000 times, as Chinese young people and parents showed great interest in having such a machine.  Even more surprising, within 3 hours, Taobao (China’s eBay) had hundreds of sellers, offering to buy such a machine in the US and shipping it to China for the buyer.  Even though the shipping cost was more than the machine, thousands were sold within a day (one store reported 51 sales, and there were over 100 stores that carried it).  There were also some unhappy buyers who didn’t read the instructions and got shaved ice instead, and tweeted nasty (but undeserved) gripes being misled by me.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership