A Chinese wall is a barrier that separates two or more groups, usually as a means of restricting the flow of information. Originating in the financial services sector, the term was used to describe an “invisible” barrier between different departments, perhaps separating a department gives advice on buying shares from another that advises on takeovers and mergers. The aim being to avoid a conflict-of-interest.

The use of the term has been criticised as having an “ethnic focus” and as such may be discriminatory, however, further investigation reveals that the term refers to the Chinese tradition of employing paper screens as interior dividers within buildings that, despite the being intrinsically ineffective as physical barriers, were nonetheless respected as part of a code of honour.

The term has now become a popular method of describing confidentiality between clients as well as between different teams from different companies working on the same project.

This is surprisingly common, you may for example provide an excellent service to a company in a particular sector, given that your business has strived so hard to achieve excellence in a particular sector, it would be foolish to exclude yourself from providing that same high-level service to other companies operating in the same area, but you may wish to keep the fact that you work for different competing companies to yourself. Such barriers are also common on the supply side. You may have an excellent relationship with one supplier, but common business sense dictates that having a broad base of supply options represents best practice, once again you may wish to keep the fact that you purchase from businesses that compete to yourself, especially if those businesses are actually providing services to you on the same contract.

Put this another way, you may not want Client A to know that you’re working with Client B, you may be even more keen to ensure that Subcontractor A does not know that you’re working with Subcontractor B!

Collabor8online allows you to share your project or other documentation safely and securely with those people that you’d like to share it with, but it also allows you to keep the “who you’ve shared it with” part private.

How it works

When you create your first folder for your documents in Collabor8online you can decide who gets to view, edit or delete that content. When you create your second folder, you can share that with a completely different set of people, and those people will never get to see your first folder or who you’ve shared it with.

You can create as many folders as you like. You can share with as many people as you like.

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