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Q: Is outsourcing web design/development to Shanghai a good idea?

I am thinking of traveling to Shanghai for few months to have a website developed using ruby on rails. Considering I don’t speak Mandarin, would I have a problem finding and/or communicating with developers? Any recommendations? 

4 years 45 weeks ago in  Web & Technology - Shanghai

 
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Sounds like you're an idiot. Have fun with the security holes in your web applications.

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
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You should be ok not speaking mandarin but of course it will limit your choices greatly. Forgive my ignorance but I thought people outsourced to China to cut down on the costs. Shanghai is one of the most expensive cities to live in. It might be cheaper to hire a translator that way you still have access to the talent.

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
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I will upvote too. Sensible question... unless spam is to follow.

PM robk before you buy your ticket.

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
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Shanghai is expensive, the incomes are amongst the highest in China, it can be a bit of red tape to get a company running. Furthermore, to recruit competent software engineers et designers, you better be familiar with the culture in general, and the education & work culture in particular. For example, people tends to be not very self-driven, which can be a bit of an issue when it comes to design something new.

If you're fresh of the boat in China, I would say, slow down and take your time to see for yourself. Ideally, work in Shanghai before running your own thing. Being in a hurry will play against you in China.

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
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Sounds like you're an idiot. Have fun with the security holes in your web applications.

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
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I would say....it is not a good idea. The reason being that Chinese web design/development is about a decade behind Europe and North America. The designs will be weird and clunk (more than likely) and the coding will most likely be quite poor.

 

You are saving money but you are getting a worse product than you would if you hired Western coders. I have worked with coders and designers all around the world.

 

Chinese have good coders but most are about a 6-7 out of 10. Chinese designers overall are much lower at about 2-3 out of ten. You would probably be better off going with Indians for coding and Filipinos for designers. This is just an overall opinion based on my experience. You could strike a good freelancer/company.

 

I have a very capable Chinese woman in Changsha doing data entry for an eCommerce shop and she is doing an outstanding job. If you don't speak Mandarin that is a problem too because Chinese usually have very poor communication, especially in their non-native tongue.

 

Take my advice and outsource elsewhere...

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
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A German friend of mine is a project manager in his own company. He started out as web developer and programmer, and thought it would be a good idea to offer German quality service for Chinese prices. I.e. hiring Chinese staff to work for international customers (never for Chinese customers; it's a tax nightmare and impossible to do normal business with).

Surprisingly, after a year his greatest issue was with finding reliable staff. He didn't offer low salary - quite good for the market standard. But the competent/capable ones were shifty and rarely got past the interview phase. If there's even the possibility that they might be selling themselves short, they won't even start work.

A few were hired, but they were an even bigger disaster: They wouldn't finish tasks before the deadline, sometimes not even picking up the phone. They couldn't be relied on for anything.

If you hire Chinese programmers, you'd better be strict and oppressive like the government. Expecting people to do a simple and clear assignment at their home computer doesn't work. They need constant mollycoddling, reinforcement, reminders and pressure. Or it won't get done and your business suffers. Be warned.

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4 years 45 weeks ago
 
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