eBay In China, Round Two

    June 25, 2007

eBay recently stared down Google, one of America’s most important companies, and now it’s going to try its hand at winning in China, one of the world’s oldest civilizations.  For those of you keeping score, this is eBay’s second attempt at succeeding in that country.

An article in The Motley Fool outlines the situation with the humor you’d expect from such a source.  “The company is taking a different approach this time,” writes Rick Aristotle Munarriz.  “Instead of surrendering, it is simply retreating.  It will be back with a new partner – this time TOM Online – to see if it can get it right the second time around.”

And, as you might have been led to believe by that “retreating” line, Munarriz adds, “Just because eBay’s going in with a different local guide and a fresh attitude doesn’t mean that it won’t get pummeled again.”

Indeed, considering all the other American companies that have met with something less than success in China (Google and Yahoo might be the two most relevant examples), it would be something of minor miracle if eBay does well.

Still, some investors apparently have confidence in the company – the Wall Street Journal reports that eBay’s stock went up when its plan to reenter China was announced.