Students launch new e-commerce platform

Shane Louis, Co-editor-in-chief

Diablo Valley College students are launching an e-commerce website in February to connect international students and create a new global marketplace.

Founder Shichao Guo, 25, said the idea came to him by chance, although he was already interested in the e-commerce. He currently studies mathematics at DVC.

The concept for the company is what Guo calls “I to I” which stands for individual to international. It is a slight modification of typical e-commerce concepts.

Companies like Ebay are customer-to-customer, larger suppliers are business-to-business, most online retailers are business-to-consumer, and a newer development is online-to-offline which typically takes the form of online menus, where you order online, but receive goods in real life.

“We are the son of all these products,” said Guo. “There is popularity when local consumers want to buy foreign stuff directly from the domestic market.”

Guo hopes to satisfy this market and help students around the world in the process.

“We are providing our online platform: helping sellers who are international students and the buyers who are local consumers,” he said.

The core of the concept pivots around international students. While DVC and the United States is the home to many international students, there are also students studying in other countries such as China and the United Kingdom.

So far, the company has 20 shareholders, many of whom are students, in seven countries including Japan, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Thailand, Australia. This is important to the structure because “It’s targeted to world-wide market,” Guo said.

The other benefit is that certain products can be purchased for a cheaper price in foreign countries, especially where they originated. Guo predicts that students could save about 10 percent off the cost they would pay in their home country.

In order to reduce the cost of shipping across the planet, Guo said they plan to utilize free trade zones that minimize taxes and government regulations.

Shareholder Johnson Ye, 20, studies computer science at DVC. “It’s interesting because it’s a new platform,” he said. “The advantage is that it is global market.”

He also acknowledged the personal benefit: “This is a big opportunity for international students to make money.”

The company is set to launch its website,, at the end of February. They plan to have an English version and a Chinese version to start and expand to other languages if it is successful.