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What are the driving forces behind the business service revolution?

Guest Blog by Ting Zhang, the CEO & Founder of, a digital economy platform that offers businesses the quality services and global connections needed to accelerate their international expansion, with a focus on Asia.

Like video communication, the digital services platform economy didn’t start with the pandemic. But in the post Covid landscape, digital technologies have changed how we do business. So, what forces are driving the shift in how companies buy business services online? And what does this change look like? 

Post Covid-19, UK businesses need to kick-start through recovery and reach a state of growth. One of the best ways of doing this is by expanding into overseas and ‘high-growth’ markets such as China and India. Huge opportunities are available, which explains why Britain has applied to join the 11 nation ‘Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership’ (CPTPP).

Such endeavours aren’t without their challenges, however.

Consequently, up to now, only large international players have had the upfront levels of investment, contacts, and resources needed to tackle such challenges. But evidence suggests dynamics are changing to be more favourable towards SMEs. And digital platform economies are becoming central to that shift.

The evolving challenges of overseas expansion

When doing business in an unfamiliar territory, it can be a costly and complex process to identify the suitable native expertise. Some of the challenges can be solved, either through translation services, or market research and analysis but finding a local partner is still difficult.

If it was challenging for SMEs to enter overseas markets before, Covid-19 appears to have compounded the issue. After all, the air fares needed for global networking are steadily increasing (1). Meanwhile, border restrictions the world over are in a constant state of flux.

How digital platform economies are solving the problem

As we saw with digital communication platforms like Zoom and Teams, Covid-19 was the catalyst that saw us adopt new technologies. Similarly, post pandemic, digital peer-to-peer platform economies appear perfectly placed to help businesses expand into new markets. 

Simply put, such digital platforms offer virtual marketplaces and connect clients with service providers and allow for value to be created and exchanged quickly from remote locations across the globe.

Instant, green, and frictionless trade

No longer are businesses restricted by geography, money, or time when it comes to finding the required expertise. Their recruitment net can be spread instantly, across entire countries and regions.

Transparency and trust

Additionally, clients can rely on the exchange, and have a transparent means of assessing the service market.

Direct communication

A further advantage is that clients are in direct contact with their service provider instead of agencies and middlemen.

Cloud-based tech for options and opportunity

Of course, because such platforms are driven by cloud-based technology, they are more easily scalable. The client has more options, and the service provider has more opportunity.

A platform for work and learning

Platform owner, like usually have a large amount of knowledge available for free. Delivered as blogs, videos, or webinars, they serve as vital resources as the client builds their expertise.

The figures speak for themselves

A pre-Covid study by KPMG estimated the size of the platform economy at more than $7 trillion (2). Given the trends we've identified, it's clear such figures will grow in the years ahead.

Certainly, such digital platforms are becoming more trusted in China. According to a McKinsey survey in late 2020 (3), 98% of B2B buyers would consider making a purchase through an end-to-end digital self-service model, directly as a result of the pandemic.

How is helping kick-start Asian expansion

Based in Cambridge, is a digital economy platform that offers businesses the quality services and global connections needed to accelerate their international expansion. The company offers an efficient, trusted, and holistic solution, only made possible through the implementation of smart platform technology. 

What makes unique

The platform is different from large platforms like Upwork because we specialise in Asian markets. So, whether you need help with marketing, sourcing, or due diligence and IP protection, democratises access to cross border resources and makes Asia easier to navigate.

At Crayfish, we’re helping companies recover from the pandemic and restart international trade in a smarter way. So, if you haven’t already, click here to create your new account and get started.

Ting Zhang is the CEO & Founder of, a digital economy platform that offers businesses the quality services and global connections needed to accelerate their international expansion, with a focus on Asia.  www.crayfish.ioTing is also a Co-Vice Chair of UK China Tech Forum, and a Member of Advisory Board at UK National Committee on China (UKNCC).


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