I find many of the staff working for local Chinese companies and government with whom I interact use personal Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, 126, 163, QQ etc., email addresses and Internet Messenger (IM) such as Windows Live, Yahoo, QQ, Alibaba to conduct their company communications, even negotiations, rather than company email addresses. Curious to understand why so?
Surely a security risk for companies when company related communications are conducted outside the company network?
For example, last week I contacted a company in Ningbo because its website stated it was one of China’s leading suppliers of Office Stationary. I talked to Frank, the sales manager, and asked him to send me an email about his company’s products. His email arrived as promised but with a Yahoo address. He also copied his “assistant” Kitty who had an Hotmail address. I asked for an email using his corporate email address to which he replied:
“I know it looks not professional with personal email address, I hope you don’t mind. Me and my friend can quote you a good price for a 3% commission”
So here is the sales manager trying to win some business for himself and his girlfriend before his boss ever knew about the lead.
Back in Ireland / Europe, for the most part, if a person doesn’t use a company email address to conduct company-related communications not only is this considered a security issue but also an issue of credibility.
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