Chinese gadget makers have to overcome stigma to launch in the US

Photo illustration by Becca Farsace and Grayson Blackmon / The Verge

Jenkin Xia knows how hard it can be to launch a gadget in the US. She makes a smart doorbell called Wuuk and crowdfunded it on Indiegogo in 2019, raising more than $900,000. Although many of the backers were excited about the products, others were wary, saying they worried about their data because the team is based in China.

Backers wanted to know more about the founders, like where they’re located and their background, she says. “People seem to really care about this, and sometimes the stigma of being a Chinese founder really haunts us,” she says. “For instance, recently we [saw] some backers posted [a question] on Facebook or social media about the name Wuuk, like, what does Wuuk mean?”

Some backers thought Wuuk meant “military” or…

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