I read an interesting article that claimed to predict that China would be the No.1 outsourcing country in a few years of time.
From my personal experience I do not think this is necessarily the case. Nowadays, countries like the Philippines, India or Pakistan are strongly involved in outsourcing.
That’s not only because the work labor is cheaper there than for example in the USA, but especially since the culture of the people doing outsourcing work there allows for great cooperation between western and eastern cultures.
China is not the cheapest alternative – not anymore
Personally, I have only worked once with a Virtual Assistant from China. I cannot give you a representative overview of how it is working together with Chinese providers. From my research and also professional experience with Chinese companies, I know that China is not necessarily far lower in prices as western countries (any more). Of course, many things cost less in China. Hourly rates might be lower, and you may be able to get some (mostly physical work) done faster.
But from what I experienced in business and from the discussion with colleagues, I have the feeling that working together with Chinese providers leads more often to misunderstandings than working together with Philippine providers.
Disadvantage of China – language barrier for English
Actually, as of 2016 and after my first stay in China, I know for sure that the language barrier is a big problem in China.
Of course, I can’t speak for all of China when I was only in one “smaller” city, Shenyang, in the north of this huge country. Things are completely different in Shanghai or Beijing.
(Just like the language skill levels in the Philippines are completely different comparing Manila vs smaller islands)
Also I feel that the overall knowledge of English is more compatible with western cultures in other countries than China.
Disadvantage with working online with China – limited access to Google tools and websites
During my stay in China, I was painfully reminded that Google is partially blocked there. If you own a website, or even for your emails, it is very probable that you are using a great deal of google services. Same for Dropbox, which also was not accessible.
It’s not that there are not alternatives (Bing). Just that the best and proven tools for working with Virtual Assistants need some exceptional workarounds when working with Chinese VAs (or when outsourcing from China).
To me, it was annoying to say the least.
More Chinese VA candidates don’t mean they are the best fit
So even if there might be many more Chinese freelancers in the future, this still does not automatically mean that china will be the outsourcing country of the future.
There are many other factors which we will have to keep in mind.
- communication skills
- compatibility between the employer and the virtual assistant
- pay rates
The sum of all those factors let me question from my personal experience, if China is indeed the outsourcing country of the future.
As for now, I would focus on providers from the Philippines, India and Pakistan if you want to be successful with outsourcing today.
You will be able to flexibly expand your team to include more providers from China. If that indeed is the way of the future.
What is your experience with working with Chinese VAs?
Do you know how it is to work with Chinese freelancers?
Do you have your own opinion on this?
Always feel free to leave us a comment.
Comments for Is China The Outsourcing Country Of The Future?
by: Kittycat Hm, I’m not sure what you mean by “transparency”… How does the “transparency” in China not make it a advised country for outsourcing?How can a virtual assistant be transparent?
by: Francis The best way for a virtual assistant to be transparent is to use a system that truthfully shows what work he does.One possibility is to use oDesk’s implemented team application. Another possibility is to use a productivity tracking software that shares when you have been working and when you haven’t.
|A follow up post about transparency and integrity of a VA
by: Francis Your comment has inspired us to post a page about the integrity of a VA and how this is important for doing business.Go check it out in the link above 🙂
by: John Personally, I doubt that China is going to be the next outsourcing capital in the future. For one reason—language barrier. I do not doubt their skills and intelligence with computers and other technologies. But, one player for outsourcing is communication. But I do not dismiss the topic that probably they will be one of many outsourcing capitals around the globe.