Learning Chinese Negotiation Tactics

China’s operating environment is one of the toughest ones in the world, and too often foreign companies fail to grasp the root cause of business failures in this commercial giant. In the preparation of a business trip to China, most Westerners know that they have to arm themselves with the basic knowledge about Chinese etiquettes and language. They go at length to hire a Chinese language expert and research about the best way to get their idea across to the other party. However, what most of them fail to understand is the art of long-term negotiations that would pave the way for a fruitful business venture in China.

In fact, a huge amount of contracts are being drafted for foreign companies that are licensing their technologies and concepts for use in China. While this kind of licensing was mostly used in industrial affairs in the past, a majority of the work consists of licensing contracts in the services sector in China these days. Most of this licensing is for operations in China prohibited to foreign companies, like media, publishing, insurance, telecom, and finance. In addition, the majority of foreign businesses prefer this licensing tactic, despite becoming a part of a Chinese Joint Venture.

Granted, industrial license bargains are hard. However, this bargaining is identical to every commercial negotiation. In the services sector, it has been observed that the Chinese side work hunts for much harder deals. This usually astonishes other customers, since it is naturally expected that the service side would be softer than the industries.

As part of this system, in service sector licensing agreements, it is being noticed that the Chinese side dusts off negotiating tactics which were very common in the early ’90s or ’80s at the time when the Chinese were negotiating their well-known dysfunctional joint venture contracts.

In negotiating service sector licensing contracts with Chinese firms, some of the tactics are explained as follows from the Chinese side:

A Horde of Endless Issues:

One of the most generally exercised tactics by the Chinese establishment is figuring out the way to ‘wear the other side down’ with endless issues. This tactic is based on two variants. In the first variant, the Chinese raise a horde of issues. As these issues get resolved, the Chinese side raises a series of new issues and the cycle goes on and on. The second variant deals with the Chinese side making a list of irrational demands, all the while not making any attempt to help resolve these issues. 

In both these variants, no discussions take place by the Chinese side to address the interests of the other side. This is done to wear down the foreign side so that it is left with no choice but to simply concede to the other party’s demands. As the foreign side allows or concedes, the Chinese side then adds provisions in the contract which are favorable to the Chinese side, under the notion that the foreign side has no objection. The achievement of this tactic relies on the negotiators of the foreign side having not enough time to carry the burden, whereas the negotiators of the Chinese side are officials having no other work other than engaging in endless demands.

Artificial Deadline:

In the initial stages of the negotiating system, the Chinese side sets a fixed date for enforcing the agreement. After that, it sets up a public signing event on the said date. At this ceremony, high-level representatives of the two sides will participate as well and play their parts. A date in the future is set in advance to make sure that the negotiating parties sign the contract in good faith and are able to fulfill it. 

After the date is set, the Chinese side refuses to sign the contract. This is done for two purposes; to ‘wear the other side down’ and secondly, in an attempt to pressurize them to concede to their demands. When the other side does bow down to the Chinese side’s demands, the contract is signed with the conditions which benefit the Chinese entirely. 

Revisiting the Deal without Lawyers:

The last tactic of the Chinese side is to come back to the main issues in the absence of the lawyers. This policy also includes the Chinese side signing an agreement, yielding on the main issues. By virtue of the signed agreement, Chinese advisors, the negotiators, and most significantly the international lawyers get busy in dealing with the other assignments. Afterward, the Chinese side waits for some time and start working on the project. After the commencement of the project, the foreign side starts investing in the project.

Once this happens, the Chinese side triggers the committed parties of the foreign side related to the project and make an announcement of altering certain provisions of the signed agreements. The Chinese side mostly calls such changes by saying that it is recommended by law, insurance companies, banks, or government regulators.

How to Deal with the Tactics

All the three techniques always provide an expected and obvious output which are favorable to the Chinese people, which is why Chinese corporations do not hesitate to frequently apply them. But, the good news is that there are ways of dealing with these negotiating tactics as explained below:

a)Avoid Participation:

When the Chinese side exercises the “endless issue technique,” the foreign side should not take part in it. The foreign side should strongly hold its position and must not bend until and unless the Chinese side comes closer to the interests of the foreign side.

b)Avoid signing on a fixed date:

The foreign side should not approve the fixed signing date. Make sure that the signing event must be conducted after the completion of the final negotiations of the agreement. Don’t permit the Chinese side to use a deadline as a weapon. This is because most of the Chinese corporations like signing ceremonies and foreigners fall into the same trap over and over again.

c) Avoid the Alteration in provisions of the signed agreement:

The foreign side must ensure that no changes shall be made after signing a contract with a Chinese company. Otherwise, it shall be treated as a breach of the law, heading towards a lawsuit for damages and termination of the contract. Chinese corporations are famous for practising the signing of an agreement as to the initiative of a fresh negotiating program, not the termination. If the foreign side agrees to it, it should at least have a clear picture of restoring their lawful and Chinese advisory crew. 

The Last Word:

Conducting a successful business in any foreign country is not easy. This is evident from the cultural and linguistic differences across boundaries. China is no less difficult when it comes to setting up a business in the country. Although negotiations take place in every business venture, some negotiations are more difficult than others and require a more careful approach to be executed. By executing negotiations successfully, one can be sure of setting up a business in this commercial giant for a long-lasting profitable business. 

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Antonia January 15, 2021 0 Comments

Exploring Ancient Chinese Culture

When one hears of the word ‘China’, the first image that comes up in most peoples’ minds is the ancient Chinese dynasty, led by an emperor. Despite its economic and technological edge over the rest of the world, the history of this land and the ancient secrets it holds still fascinates travelers and visitors throughout the world.

The ancient Chinese culture is more than 5000 years old. This was the time when its culture, architecture, and art was lauded throughout the globe, resulting in its philosophy spreading as far as the Enlightenment and French Revolution, influencing the culture and the people in those areas. Due to the ancient Chinese culture’s roots which have influenced Chinese philosophy, religion, and politics, the popularity of this culture had spread into faraway lands. Even today, the ancient Chinese religions of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism have shaped the Chinese culture as we know it and the Chinese writing style is one of the world’s most ancient writing styles, having its own uniqueness and distinctiveness. 

Let’s take a look at the evolution of ancient Chinese culture and some aspects of the culture that has evolved into the present-day culture of the region.

Ancient Chinese Culture (1600–221 BC) — Development and Features:

Before the imperial era (221 BC onwards), the ancient Chinese culture was a bit ambiguous. Later, owing to contact with other states’ cultures, modifications began to occur in the Chinese culture. However, the basic forms established during the Zhou and Shang eras still appear in current Chinese culture in everything from religion, to dress, to traditions, to writing in characters. The people of the Shang era (c.1600–1046 BC) developed cultural forms like pictographic writing, clothes, and typical foods and underlining large-scale construction projects. Later on, these traditions saw further changes in the Zhou era (1046-221 BC) with the development of modern Confucian philosophies and imperial dynasties. 

How Ancient Chinese Culture Was Defined

Various historians use the expression “ancient culture” to mean the culture of the Zhou and Shang dynasties. Imperial culture originated in 221 BC with the Qin Dynasty. In the imperial eras, the educated leaders and dynastic courts relied upon the historical records of Sima Qian as the cultural model for their kingdoms. This gave rise to the modern Chinese culture that we know of today. 

Ancient Chinese Culture and Sima Qian

Since times immemorial, Chinese people have customarily believed that the Huaxia tribe created the Chinese culture. According to ancient texts, the Huaxia were situated in the Central Plain near Beijing before the commencement of the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC) and spread southwards and westwards along the Yellow River. They believed in this owing to the concepts of an ancient Chinese historian named Sima Qian (130–86 BC). Sima Qian was a man who explained that the supernatural, Yellow Emperor, and his conquering Huaxia tribe was the foundation of the Han people, their culture, and civilization. His history, Records of the Grand Historian (太史公書 Tàishǐgōng Shū or 史记 Shǐjì), were written before his death and before 86 BC regarding the foundational text of Chinese civilization. In short, his text and work are attributed to Confucius, and historians modeled ancient culture.

Some aspects of Chinese Ancient Culture

Ancient Chinese culture approximately from 3,600 to 2,200 years ago supports modern Chinese culture in everything from religion, to traditions and to writing as well. Here are a few aspects of the ancient culture which still exist to this day.

  • Pictographic Characters for Writing

Archaeological researches show that by 1200, Shang was writing in pictograms that were slightly identical to the characters which are used in Chinese writing today. Scholars have observed that certain characters like the word for father, 父 fù, is identical to the characters that the Shang wrote. New characters are comprised of small pictograms. 

  • A High Esteem for Writing, Literature and Historical Records

It has been observed that the Shang people have heavily commented on writing for record-keeping. Their inscriptions have been seen on hundreds and thousands of oracle bones and on their living figure metal formations. The writing was perhaps a significant feature of their routine life, but a majority of their writings have been lost since they had written them on things such as parchments that have deteriorated. This highlights that education and writing were a vital portion of ancient culture and were of great value in all the imperial eras starting from the Qin conquest in 221 BC till the year 1912.

  • The Style of Arts and Crafts

The Shang produced heavy, large, and geometrically complex bronze objects in characteristic styles that the Zhou clan who were subjects of the Shang Dynasty in the very beginning, continued after conquering the empire. Their bronze work style was found to be totally dissimilar from the bronzes of the concurrent Sanxingdui civilization in Sichuan. This indicates that the ancient people of the Zhou and Shang dynasties maintained a different artistic culture and refused to adopt the Sanxingdui style.

  • A Liking for Jade

Contrary to other cultures that prized bronze over other metals, the Shang people, as well as people of the Zhou era, preferred objects made of jade. Archeologists digging the ancient ruins of Chinese sites have discovered a huge quantity of jade ornaments, artwork, and other objects that had been designed for ritual ceremonies and decorations. The people of the Shang dynasty even used jade to make body armor. Later, this jade was used to encase the bodies of royal emperors that are preserved to this day. 

  • The Tea Drink

One of the beverages that the people of the Shang dynasty were particularly fond of was tea. This became evident when archeologists discovered tea in the 2nd century Han emperor’s tomb. However, ancient records say that tea was considered a medicinal drink during the Zhou era. Moreover, it was thought that tea was first cultivated in Yunnan during the Shang period. Thereafter, the tradition of drinking tea spread to other Zhou era states and neighboring countries.

  •  The Silk 

One other thing that has its roots in the ancient Chinese culture is silk. Chinese people have been credited with the invention of silk fabric. In fact, the earliest records of the invention of silk date back to 37 Century BC in Henan. Eventually, the manufacturing of silk cloth was quite advanced during the Shang era. This is the reason why silk weaving is still prevalent in modern-day China and mainland Chinese produce more than half of the world’s silk. 

  • Ancient religion and Daoism

The people of the Shang dynasty worshipped their own ancestors in addition to famous persons who had passed away. They believed that the dead souls could harm, as well as heal, people and this belief in ancestral worship are still present to this day. 

The Last Word

The traits of the ancient Chinese culture explained above are just a tiny glimpse into the vast world of Chinese history. The modern-day Chinese culture still holds some features of the ancient past, fragments of which can still be observed during Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year when people take a great part in attending to clan burial places and temples as well as engaging in rituals and customs of the past. Nevertheless, tourists and travelers visiting China are sure to get enticed by the features of the ancient past that can still be seen in Chinese art, architecture, and museums. 

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Antonia January 8, 2021 0 Comments

All You Need to Know about Dragons in Chinese Culture

Chinese culture is one of the most interesting cultures in the world. Belonging to the commercial and economic giant China, the Chinese culture holds many things that are different from the rest of the world. This is why it presents such an interest for travelers, visitors, and culture enthusiasts throughout the world. 

One thing that is distinct and unique in Chinese culture is dragons.

According to Chinese culture, the dragon sign is a symbol of good luck and wealth. Additionally, to Chinese people, it is also considered as one of the four most intelligent creatures amongst unicorn, phoenix, and tortoise. Maybe this is the reason why Chinese rulers and emperors have been emulating dragons since the very start of civilization. In China, the dragon is considered legendary a animal, and its sign has been used to display power in China for a very long time. The extent of importance that the Chinese place on dragons can be judged by the prediction pointing out that the year 2020 will be a lucky one for Dragons, with an excellent development in their professions. 

Dragons and China—some amazing facts

The Dragon is a significant sign, not only in China but globally as well. In China, dragons represent power, leadership, and wealth. Let’s look at some of the amazing facts surrounding dragons in Chinese culture.

Chinese dragons come in many different forms

The philosopher Wang Fu defined the dragon as a blend of numerous animals almost 2000 years ago.  People usually take Chinese dragons as some snake-like creature. But actually, it is more like fish and turtles.

Chinese dragons control the weather

Dragons represent both evil and good, which means sometimes they are blamed for the occurrence of natural disasters.  They have been considered responsible for harsh storms, floods, and tidal waves. Today, anyone can visit the shrines that were built in the honor of dragons. For instance, the “Green Dragon Temple” also known as “Qing long Temple” is situated near “Xi’an” city which was built to honor the dragons. 

Emperors were believed to have descended from dragons

A legendary popular hero named “Fu Xi” was credited with creating the first human dragon. He was described as a man with a human head and the body of a dragon. At the beginning of the Chinese dynasty (c. 2000 BCE), he was considered as one of the first three sovereigns. Additionally, all the way through the imperial age, only the royal leaders and their families were supposed to wear the official colors of the dragon. For instance, the color apricot was used by the crown prince, golden yellow was for the emperor’s other wives and yellow color was for the emperors and empress.

 Dragons are born in China every 12 years

Chinese Zodiac revolves around twelve different creatures consisting of equal but dissimilar qualities. Usually, Chinese people plan their pregnancies so that kids will be born in the dragon year. This fortunate year is said to be the birth year of influencers and rulers. The last dragon kid was believed to have been born in 2012 and the next in the year 2024. 

 In China, dragons paddle and dance at festivals

In China “Dragon Boat Festival” is held, in which dragon decorated boat races through the waters and this festival takes place in many cities of China. The decorated boats consist of long dragon tails, carved dragon heads and these boats are long enough for carrying 20 paddlers. People can also witness a dragon dance during the Chinese New Year. The dance goes along with drums, drama, and music as well. It is believed that evil spirits are afraid of aggressive dance and loud noises. In this festival, a team of dancers manipulates wood puppets and the cloth of a dragon too.

Dragon sons protect places and implements

Chinese believed that there are nine dragon sons, charged with certain traits for protecting belongings and houses. With the help of old Chinese sites, anyone is able to see these entire nine dragon sons featured prominently today. 

 Many historical leaders were born in the Year of the Dragon

Little Dragon or Bruce Lee, Li (November 27th, 1940), Deng Xiaoping (August 22nd, 1904), Martin Luther King (January the 15th 1929) and Vladimir Putin (October the 7th 1952) all of these legends were born in the Dragon year. 

The dragon is the subject of many Chinese idioms

There are some proverbs and idioms in Chinese that revolve totally around dragons: For example:

  • 龙争虎斗 (lóng zhēng hǔ dòu): Literally “a fight between a dragon and a tiger”, it refers to a struggle between two similarly matched forces.
  • 人中之龙 (rén zhōng zhī lóng): “A dragon among men” is used to describe an exceptional, unmatched talent.
  • 群龙无首 (qún lóng wú shǒu): “A group of dragons, but no leader” refers to a group that needs a leader.
  • 望子成龙 (wàng zǐ chéng lóng): “To wish your son becomes a dragon” refers to parents hoping for their kids to succeed.
  • 画龙点睛 (huà lóng diǎn jīng): “Paint the dragon, dot the eyes” means adding the finishing touch to something.

“Leaping over the dragon gate” means success

According to Chinese culture, a carp that can leap over the “mythical Dragon Gate” will become dragons. Unfortunately, none has been able to find the dragon gate. But Chinese say that out of these countless Chinese waterfalls there is one that leads to this sacred gate, for instance, the Jiulong Waterfalls, also known as the Pearl Shoal Waterfall or the Black Dragon Pool Waterfall or Nine Dragon Waterfalls. 

China is home to most places named after dragons:

The name ‘dragon’ conjures up attractive vibes for anyone in the world. The travelers and visitors to Hong Kong can experience this when they go for a hike on the Dragon’s Back trail. Although there are no dragons to view there, the scenic beauty of the place is sure to fill a person with wonder. Moreover, other places such as Longsheng Dragon’s Back Terraces offers a sloping surface that resembles the body of a dragon and is a popular tourist attraction liked by many.

The Last Word

To people residing in the West, a dragon may be a symbol of evil, depicting fury and rage. But in China, it is one of the most popular and powerful symbols. This is the reason why the Chinese rely so much on this symbol and hold it in such high esteem. Nevertheless, a person visiting China is sure to have a good time exploring and learning more about the Chinese dragons and their history as it goes way back into old times. 

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Antonia January 7, 2021 0 Comments

All You Need to Know about Chinese Sign Language

The languages of the world are vast and are of a wide variety. Not surprisingly, those who want to travel the world and are keen to know about the different cultures opt for learning the languages spoken in these regions as a language itself is the compass by which one can gain knowledge of the place.

But one language that is of somewhat universal nature is sign language.

Sign language has been around for centuries, probably even before verbal language was being used to communicate. Certain cues and gestures established understanding between individuals, resulting in two-way communication. 

The Chinese Sign Language (CSL) had also been established to act as a means of communication between people, but mostly it was made to facilitate the deaf community. Here is a look at the evolution of Chinese Sign Language and its significance in the Chinese region as well as its role in the world of social media. 

CSL and the Deaf Community

The Chinese Sign Language has been around for a long time since the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-959), but it developed mostly in the late 1950s, with signs that resemble Chinese characters. It has various dialects with Shanghai being the most common. Although the first deaf school was founded by an American missionary, C.R. Mills, American Sign Language is very different from CSL.

The Schools and workshops in China for the deaf community contribute to spreading CSL. In other countries as well, CSL is learned in order to help the Chinese deaf people. For instance, in America, the Chinese National Association of the Deaf was founded by deaf people in the US to help improve the quality of living for Chinese deaf people. This organization still works to improve the welfare of the deaf community by encouraging the education and job prospects of the latter using sign language. 

A Look at the Evolution of CSL

The Spoken Chinese language is considered one of the hardest languages to master. This is why learners are confronted with four subtly different tones that are almost indistinguishable from the foreign ear. Not surprisingly, it is quite rare to find discussions on how it feels like to master Chinese without hearing the sounds and tones of Chinese, but for the Chinese Deaf community, this is the primary means of communication. 

Sign language is a popular method of communication amongst deaf people throughout the world. Take for example the British Sign Language, which, although is not so widespread, is still on display when a BSL narrator is commonly seen next to a television. Similar to BSL, Chinese Sign Language is a combination of hand and finger signals with emotional expressions that convey individual letters, words, and meaning.

CSL has been used by deaf people in China throughout the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). In fact, there are historical accounts of how deaf individuals communicate with hearing relatives through a system of home-signs that expressed the concepts of daily-used words such as “bread”, “meat” and “fish”. 

These early developments marked the beginning of the spread of sign language throughout China till it was standardized. During the mid-20th century’s political revolution, the People’s Republic of China took steps to both standardize CSL and the curriculum of Deaf School. In 1958, a Sign Language Reform Committee was established to standardize and represent this language. As these signs were based on spoken language, many two-syllable words were represented by two signs instead of one to express a “question” or “interrogation”. 

Sign Language in the online world

The Chinese sign language has come a long way since its evolution and in the early years of the 20th century. Even though the development of the language has been slow, numerous organizations, schools, and institutions now exist in metropolitan areas and cities which follow the standardized rules for CSL.

In the vast world of the internet and social media, CSL is also slowly gaining momentum and social networking sites, as well as blogging platforms, are being used to spread awareness of sign language. Consequently, the online media platform is acting as a space for deaf people to interact with each other through online videos.

One huge challenge for Chinese sign language is the wide number of regional variations existing in cities and areas—even in neighboring regions, sign language is different. Recently, Weibo users have opted to use CSL to communicate if they find it hard to communicate in Shanghainese sign language, and there have emerged some examples of Weibo users who have used sign language in place of the Shanghainese sign language since they had less knowledge of the latter. Not only that, the CSL is now being used by the netizen community to interact with the deaf people across China and in other countries as well. Naturally, the Chinese online space is providing a ground for interaction and interest in CSL. 

Weibo is being used as a platform to reach out to deaf people. For example, a user “Pure White Meets Heaven Blue” advertises a CSL corner in order to help hearing people practice CSL with deaf teachers and for the deaf to interact with hearing people. Moreover, the deaf community is also active on WeChat, with accounts specifically made to share the latest news about CSL and education about sign language. The current patterns of social media indicate that there is a growing interest in CSL and deaf culture, with Chinese internet users expressing positivity and pride in the usage of sign language. However, it still remains to be seen how this ‘online positivity’ will help in the recognition of CSL in the real world.

The Last Word

The Chinese Sign Language is a unique language that is being used by the deaf and the hearing people in China to increase awareness. By looking at the current social media trends and the rise of online spaces, it can be predicted that the future of the CSL is bright and promising. However, it still requires constant support from the Chinese government and authorities in order to ensure that CSL continues to flourish and facilitate the deaf community as well as the hearing one in China.

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Antonia January 1, 2021 0 Comments

How to Choose a Business Partner in China

China, the economic and technological leader, is also one of the countries with the most lucrative businesses. A businessman seeking to expand his business globally is sure to get good support if he decides to start with China. However, doing business in China is quite different from doing business in Europe or the United States. This, perhaps, is owing to the traditions and customs which are unlike any other in the world.

Similarly, searching for a business partner in China also requires a different approach. A local partner who is aware of the ins and outs of the business practices in China will be helpful in making this task possible, but he needs to have ample knowledge of the legal processes and rules in China. On top of that, a businessperson or any Chinese corporation based on a good contact of the state will surely be helpful.

In a study carried out by Australian companies, it was observed that using video conferencing or Skype instead of telephone calls has aided them in building up trust with Chinese business partners and contacts. However, like all business partnerships, trust and reliance need to be built up before finalizing anything as these are essential ingredients of a successful business venture.

Chinese businesspersons are becoming progressively more confident and self-reliant with the passage of time. Most of them feel that they don’t require any foreign partnership, especially when it comes to dealing with the fast-growing local market. Those who performed well during the last Asian business crisis can be chiefly demanding with regards to negotiations. For global industries, these modifications can mean that the Chinese establishments generally are much more reluctant to enter a partnership or are interested in higher value and higher-priced deals. The locals are reluctant as well, for giving up large share and majority control of upcoming profits when they have a feeling that their private business product or offerings are equally good, if not better than those of their external investors.

Following are the top eight things that person should focus on choosing a business partner in China;

  • Derive a Marketing Strategy:

Before looking for a business partner in China, businesspersons should set up an operative and confident marketing strategy. It is suggested to search for a business partner, but many companies have decided to work independently on their own in China. It’s a good initiative, but it is quite a time taking. Meanwhile, you may also need assistance from professional Chinese Translation Services.

  • Review Chinese Business Opportunity:

For ensuring the reliability of a probable Chinese business partner, it is important to operate a business review of it. For instance, a press journalist who collects speeches from consumers, previous workers, and every probable entity that is connected with the company will be helpful in developing the correct picture, thus avoiding any case of fabricated legal filings and financials.

  • Understand the Market:

Doing market research earlier will assist a person in defining the additional value that can be provided and the scope of the opportunity. Awareness regarding the market and its capability will become the base for determining one’s requirement, specifically while looking for a business partner in China.

  • Search for an Innovative Solution:

Purchasing a firm in an identical field may become a very difficult task sometimes, owing to the very small size of the market or of the opportunity in China. Going for neighboring markets or complementary goods, making a list of fresh options for one’s market strategy in China will most of the time aid him in finding innovative solutions in searching for a business partner.

  • Filter to find a partner:

After creating a list of potential firms, it is very essential to efficiently filter against the particular criteria in order to discover a suitable company: A company that has an appreciable market share, brand strength, partner interest, local contracts, distribution capabilities, etc. Such a partner will not only help in making business possible in China, but it would also open ways for other companies to join the competition.

  • Target the Chinese Consumer:

While following the intended marketing policy, it would be really wise to focus on the low priority groups or commodity players, if an interested person is looking for a cheaper source or is in search of marketing heads and niche players.  In short, a businessman should concentrate on the point where he is interested in hitting the Chinese market. Once again, it will be regarding recognizing the chief requirements that will open the doors for any businessman searching for a business partner in China.

  • Assess your Company Size:

A perfect partner in China is an enterprise that is of the same size as the interested firm. Larger companies will out-leverage other companies, but minor firms may not have a network large enough to get things done in China. This is the reason you should properly assess the size of your firm as well as the size of the target firm in the Chinese market.

  • Secure a Chinese lawyer:

 Before entering the Chinese market don’t ever forget to retain a Chinese lawyer. Without a doubt your business partner will aid you, but as the rules and paperwork are everything one must be careful and try to keep things transparent. After successfully discovering a perfect business partner in China, it’s suggested to a businessperson to go deeply into his primary interests, motives, and decisions; for creating an effective and long-term partnership.

  • Do your Homework:

This is also one of the most important steps after entering the Chinese market. To ensure a business partnership is set up successfully, a businessman needs to do the proper homework—recruiting and hiring local Chinese people who understand the Chinese customers and are willing to work for the company. Other than that, proper project management and customer care also need to be in place so that a businessman can make it big in a lucrative market like China.

The Last Word

Setting up a business partnership in China is easier than it seems, simply because the basic rules are the same everywhere. To step into any market, it is first imperative to search and set up an appropriate target. An on-ground team with professional advisors and agents will definitely help to make the whole process faster. Combined with that, ample knowledge of the Chinese business culture and etiquettes are the keys to making sure a business is set up successfully in China. 

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Antonia December 25, 2020 0 Comments

Why Do American Companies Choose China over Other Countries

The evolving world market presents a host of opportunities for the business markets and stakeholders. With a shifting tendency of many businessmen to choose emerging and developed countries for their business, some nations have successfully managed to stand out amongst the others. China is one of the countries that possess a host of opportunities for foreign businesses. Considering China, one would easily be able to tell that it is the ideal choice for business expansion, with its sound manufacturing knowledge, money stability, reliability, and domestic market development. 

American companies, like other companies across the world, prefer China over other countries. The question is why?

The answer lies in a few qualities that set China apart—cheap labor, tax exemptions being a few of them. While other countries such as India, Brazil, and Mexico are also emerging markets, China outperforms them allowing to its favorable business policies, cheap labor, and logistics efficiencies. Not only that, China upholds the principles of corporate social responsibility that are a deciding factor for many firms seeking to enter a new market.

Here are all the reasons why China is the preferred choice of American companies.

  • Low Tax Rates:

When it comes to taxes, China presents the lowest tax rate among other countries. The corporate tax rate in China is approximately up to 25%, whereas the tax rate in other countries is much higher. In India, the corporate tax rate is 35%, Mexico 30%, and Brazil 34%. It might come as a surprise that China is 5% cheaper than in other countries. Although this 5% is not the deciding factor of whether to set up a factory in China or not, it is still one of the main factors why American companies opt to choose China over other countries. 

  • Cheap Labor: 

China is a communist state; therefore a person would assume that his employees would have other rights such as collective bargaining. The China of today has labor rights which are stricter than five years back. Although salaries are increasing day by day, wages in China are cheaper than in Mexico and Brazil. Talking about labor rights, according to the International Trade Union Confederation China is at 5th on the list of 1 to 5 the world’s worst states for employees.

On the other hand, India has set a bad example, which means it is a place that cannot take place without incidents of labor violations. Mexico is at 4th place on the list of worst working place for workers and Brazil is on the 3rd. This is because Brazil has some of the toughest labor laws around. Tough labor rights that favor unions tend to be unpleasant to international capital searching for inexpensive investments as well as little drama. As opposed to these states, workers of China claim that “Anything you can do, we can do it as well; much cheaper and much faster”. This means that labor rights in China are somewhat favorable than in other countries.

  • Less Costly Logistics: 

There are hidden charges included in doing business in all states. But nations like Brazil consist of hidden taxes which cannot be avoided. Take the example of the company’s smartphone account which, if taxed, is almost equal to the corporate tax rate. In addition to taxation, there is a logistics rate of transferring goods from one state to another and from one country to the next. Brazil is famous for being a logistical mess—it might be holding just 3 decent ports.

If we talk about the port side, China rules over it. Chinese seaports are extremely remarkable. You won’t be able to find something even near to them in India or Latin America. Cartels govern the Mexican ports, as Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador currently stated regarding the existence of corruption at two of the country’s custom stations and ports. India can take benefit owing to its location, but the infrastructure of Indian port has no match with Chinese ports. Therefore, it is quite clear that logistical benefits are on the Chinese side. 

  • Low Corruption: 

China is not as corrupt as any other evolving market. Mexico, Brazil, and India are way more dangerous in the sector of corruption and crime rate. If we talk about the quality of life for expat employees, then building a workshop in such states is less safe than constructing one in China. Capitalizing on operations taking place in Rio de Janeiro and bringing down American laborers may sound tempting, but Rio is one of the most dangerous towns around the globe. 

  • Environmental Conservation: 

India’s dull environmental principles have made it one of the most polluted countries in the world. There is no doubt that China is polluted and consists of poor air quality as well. But at the same time, it takes this problem very seriously and keeps on figuring out ways of dealing with it. For instance, China has spent a lot of money on a high-speed rail which is very successful today. China is the biggest electric-vehicle producer in the world. In addition, the Chinese government is taxing coal utilities and producers and is trying to shrink fossil fuel consumption. Although it has a long way to go, all of this creates opportunities for American firms that wish to serve the Chinese market

  • Low cost of energy: 

Keeping the lights on in China is cheaper than it is in Mexico, India, and Brazil. Workers from unskilled to a skilled, stable currency, weak unions, world-class logistics, and transport network, politics and a safe place for doing business make China better than all other states. Look at the gigantic evolving markets as a probable alternative and it is clear that Mexico, India, and Brazil have to improve their infrastructure and reform their heavy taxes, for helping exporters and drastically reducing vicious crime rates. Otherwise, they will never be able to compete with China. This means that the low energy costs in China favor the American companies wishing to kick-start their business in the country.

The Last Word

Although China has a long way to go with regards to its logistics, politics, and overall business environment, it cannot be denied that it is one of the most favorable countries for American companies to extend their business. Not only that, China is known for its cheap labor, low taxation rates, and low energy costs—all of the ingredients necessary for a company to spread its operations in another country. Although the language barrier might be a bit difficult for these American companies to cross, once these companies get the gist of doing business in China, they can reap the benefits of a favorable business environment that is bound to attract global profit and revenues. 

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Antonia November 17, 2020 0 Comments

10 Fun Facts About China

China is the largest country in the world in terms of territory. It has a diversified culture that makes the civilization of China unique and worth mentioning. It has developed as the second-largest economy in the world. Let us explore the fun facts about China that could go on and on and on from the distinct nature to strange values and customs. The more you know about their culture, traditions, and values, the better you can localize your content for making your mark in the Chinese market.

Geographical Diversity

  • China covers 9.6 million square kilometres that make China the third-largest country in the world by territory. It has a north-west extent of 5,000 km and a north-south extent of 3900 km. The region of China includes 33% mountains, 19% basins and deserts, 10% hills, 12% plains region, and 26% high plateaus.
  • Some people think China is the largest country in the world, but it is not true. China comes at 4th number after Canada, Russia, and the United States. Russia is 2 times bigger than China.
  • China has the highest mountain ranges in the world. Two important of them are Mount Everest and the Turpan Depression.
  • It has the most international neighboring borders in the world with 14 countries like Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Korea, and India.
  • China enjoys different weather conditions. The Northside has cold and drier weather as compared to the South. West has drier weather than the east.
  • The weather in Northeast China can reach -40 degrees centigrade in winters while the weather in South reaches 40 centigrade in summer. Rainfall occurs with few millimeters every year in the Taklamakan Desert, and 3 meters of rain occurs in the Southeast.

China’s Population

  • China is the most populated country in the world with around 1.5 billion people in 2020.
  • The population of China is 4 times bigger than the population of the US.
  • Out of every 5 humans, one is Chinese.
  • Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.
  • It is spoken by 14% of people in the world.

China has the Fastest Growing Economy

  • China is the world’s fastest-growing economy. It grows with an average of 10% every year.
  • It is considered as the world’s second-largest economy.
  • According to the Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations, the GDP of China will reach 14000.00 USD billion in 2020.
  • China is known as the factory of the world. The largest production of fertilizer, concrete, Steel, fertilizer, clothing, and toys take place in China.

Silk Road is the World’s Oldest and Longest Trade Route

  • The Silk Road is in China’s territory, and it is 2,485 miles long and extends across the entire area of China.
  • It starts from Beijing and connects to East and Southeast and West Asia and Southern Europe.
  • Silk Road is a funny name, but it does not depict that only the Silk trade is done from this road. Its name was designated by German Geographer and historian Ferdinand Von Richthofen when he tried to explain its journey.
  • Products like animals, porcelain, precious stones, silver, gold, teas, carpets are traded from East to West from Silk road.
  • Silk Road exists today, but it is not used for trading. It helps the top-tourists in China to explore and experience ancient China.

Long Nails and White Skin Tone as Symbol of Wealth

  • In every part of the world, long nails are considered a symbol of beauty, but in the case of a Chinese businesswoman, you are mistaken. It sounds funny. They considered long nails as a symbol of wealth.
  • The strange thing about China is that men also don’t cut nails to show that they are well off.
  • Nails should be short only if you are a white corner worker.
  • If you have white skin color, you are considered rich because people who have white color usually work indoors.

Growth of Cities and Improvement in Transportation

  • In China, people have moved to cities from villages for the last 3 decades. This trend is projected to be followed for the next 30 years.
  • Transportation in Chinese cities has improved a lot.
  • They enjoy traveling on intercity high-speed trains and metros of the city.
  • Beijing Capital International Airport is the busiest airport in the world and busiest in Asia. China has some large seaports that are Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.

Controlling Traffic Jam Problem

  • China is the most populated country in the world so they have traffic jam problems.
  • If you are stuck in the market, then the amazing thing is that two guys will come to you on a motorbike. One person will take you to the place where you want to go and the other person will handle your car.

56 Ethnic Groups Living in China

  • 56 Ethnic groups are residing in China.
  • The largest ethnic group is the Han, which comprises 91% of the whole population.
  • In other minority groups Hui, Manchu Miao, and Zhuang have a large number of population.

Highest Number of UNESCO Sites in the World

  • China has the highest number of UNESCO sites in the world.
  • The number of sites in Italy and China is 55.
  • These are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

People of Beijing Eat Scorpios

  • Another funniest thing about Chinese people is that Scorpios are sold live in Beijing streets.
  • They are boiled in the oil for a few seconds and they are pierced on the stick.
  • Other insects like mollusks, tasty sea things and other insects are seen on sale on Beijing streets.

Wrapping Up

Every country has distinct features that differentiate it from other nations. These fun facts about China depict its cultural values and norms. To know more about China, you need to know its native language. If you can’t understand the Chinese, then no problem Chinese Translation Services is here for you. It provides you impeccable translation services in all the dialects of the Chinese language.

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Antonia November 13, 2020 0 Comments

Exploring the Cultural Differences between China and the US

It is a commonly known fact that the culture of a country is its true depiction of its people. While cultures, norms, and values differ across boundaries and nations, they are often the distinguishing factor that sets them apart. Taking time out to study different cultures, therefore, is not a futile attempt at understanding the customs and practices of a nation.
The Chinese and United States cultures are poles apart when it comes to examining the different aspects of values and norms. Although a few similarities do exist between the two, the differences are profound and clear, affecting the way of life and business.
Opting to go abroad for higher education or to do an internship is a culturally inspiring experience. When a person chooses to move from America to China for at least for a year, he will experience many differences. However, the good news is that Chinese and American cultures aren’t completely different from each other.

The Importance of Individuality in American and Chinese Culture

The United States of America features a country of individuals depending upon love to maintain their individuality. One of the major cultural differences between China and the United States is the sense of individuality and separate identity that is missing in the Chinese culture. Having an individual and separate sense of purpose is generally glowered upon in the Chinese culture. Take, for instance, the Chinese and American workplaces. In the U.S., assigning a remarkable deal for a corporation can be celebrated as an individual accomplishment. But in China, big achievements are considered as an accomplishment of the whole company.

Socializations in China and the US

Time is the most significant element when it comes to conducting business dealings anywhere in the world. However, Chinese people generally put more emphasis on time management and are individuals who prefer punctuality. China is also famous in terms of its attitude towards networking and socialization. The difference between Chinese and U.S. cultures lies in the way their people socialize and interact with each other. While the Chinese put a great emphasis on building long-term interaction with their business partners, this socialization in the U.S. is much more momentary and short-lived. This may be due to the fact that the Chinese tend to acquire a possible acquaintance’s trust in their dealings. Though there is no fixed length of time for socializing, it cannot be denied that the harsher elements of doing business cannot take place without interactive and proper networking.

The Difference of Hierarchy

One of the prominent differences between American and Chinese culture is the difference in the way they perceive hierarchy. In China, it is almost unheard of by anyone that an entry-level staff is interacting with the CEO of the company, even if they share the same workspace. Opening workplaces in a bid to encourage reduced hierarchy barriers is a thing of the West only and doesn’t truly exist in China. It is important to keep this in mind when moving from Chinese to U.S. culture, otherwise, it would give the impression that different members of the same office are being deliberately rude to each other.

The Classroom Environment

The majority of American schools consist of a very relaxed and comfortable classroom environment than Chinese schools, but teachers are respected and are seen as professionals in both of the states. While teaching or learning in a Chinese school, it’s common to see apprentices raising their hands for asking questions. Additionally, students are taught to stand as well when teachers enter the classroom. This shows that the environment in the classroom in Chinese schools is much strict than in the schools in the U.S where open interaction and dialogue are encouraged.

Conflict Management and Resolution

In China, people avoid all kinds of conflicts and useless fights. A foreigner visiting China would easily notice that Chinese won’t raise an issue directly with another Chinese who has left him feeling aggrieved. This is a major difference between the cultures of the two top countries of the world. Chinese people understand that conflicts are unnecessary and need to be resolved, unlike the Americans who may take time to resolve conflicts.

The Support for the Elderly

In the United States of America, it is very common to move the elders of the family to spend their last years of retirement in old homes where they are supported in the care of professionals. As opposed to Americans, Chinese people put greater emphasis on family bonding, treating the elders of their family with love and respect.
In China, grandparents are well respected and much more likely to be cared for by the family home as well. Consequently, the concept of moving parents to old houses is discouraged by the Chinese culture. Another of the differences between Chinese and American culture which plays a role in supporting elderly family members is that it is considered strange for Chinese families to move hundreds of miles away from each other. On the other hand, people of America may travel from state to state for educational purposes or doing work and will also prefer to settle there for the rest of their lives.

The Difference in Spending of Money

Many Chinese households see money as something to be treasured. They will go out of their way to reserve their finances for absolute essentials, such as education and repairs around the home. Owning the latest clothes, gadgets, and cosmetics is considered less important, whereas in the United States there is a great demand for modern things. Any person doing an internship in China, therefore, should follow his new friends’ leads and start saving his money for the home.

Eating out in the U.S. vs China:

Going out for dinner in some other countries may not feel unusual because of the differences in culture and cuisine. In China, it’s very common for everyone to pay the bill and then give tips to the staff. In most cases, if it is not done then it is considered to be rude. On the other hand, when a person invites someone out for dinner in America it is obvious that the host will be the one paying the bill. But tipping the service staff is not necessary.

The Last Word

Culture, norms, and practices in China and the U.S. may be different from each other but some values bind the two communities—those of mutual understanding, respect, solidarity, and honesty. This is the reason why one should expect to be at home in both these cultures. All that is really needed is a knowledge of the customs and practices of these two areas, and fluency in the languages spoken by the native people.

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Antonia November 6, 2020 0 Comments

All You Need to Know About Manufacturing in China

Like all other spheres of the economy, one country that has stood the test of time and turbulence in China. The People’s Republic of China is, without a doubt, the top industrial producer and manufacturer as it sells more manufacturing goods than any other country in the world. 

The statistics support this claim—China currently exports more than USD 34 billion worth of products to other countries. Last year, the manufacturing output of China was USD 3896 billion, approximately an increase of 0.72% from 2018. Even more so, China accounted for a huge 28% of global manufacturing output in 2018, which puts the country ahead of the United States. In fact, China sent almost 18 percent of its exports to the United States last year, and this figure continues to grow as China makes headway in the manufacturing world with the passage of time. 

One thing that has particularly come to light is the expansion of manufacturing companies in China. The reason is that even in the absence of tariffs on goods that a seller sells, China proposes advanced production experiences and less production costs than other countries. 

Here we shed light on some of the reasons why China is considered the head of manufacturing in the world.

Chinese Specializations

China is the biggest exporting country in the world, as it specializes in a variety of different product categories. When we talk about the availability of a product, China is unmatchable. Customers can buy anything made in the Chinese city named Shenzhen, which is known as the center of manufacturing in Asia owing to the evolving hub of highly accessible service providers and manufacturers. Additionally, Shenzhen is the only city in Mainland China which offers visa on arrival to foreign companies and visitors. This in turn encourages them to extend their manufacturing business in China. 

Chinese Costs

China is considered a developing country by the WTO and its economy is currently one of the largest economies in the world. In fact, China is quickly advancing in technology, production abilities and becoming more industrialized, which has pushed the country into more economic reform and projects such as ‘Made in China 2025’.

Today, as China improves its industrial sectors related to economic growth and advanced manufacturing industry, the Chinese business is showing sky-high figures. It is a fact that rising wages is not a bad thing unless a company is manufacturing in China and is experiencing lower profit margins from higher production costs. In fact, a more managed industry, better infrastructure, and improved machinery can prove to be additional benefits for a businessman manufacturing in China

Shipping costs are mostly the same in Asian states. However, a businessman can experience better rates if he opens an account in China and ships over time. Similarly, shipping taxes and duties are exempted from shipping costs, especially in the main cities of China.

Competence of Chinese Production

Chinese manufacturers prefer a high minimum order quantity (MOQ). This is because as the products get more elaborated, MOQ gets smaller. Products such as plush toys and glassware may consist of MOQ based on almost 1,000 pcs, whereas more complex and expensive items such as hardware products may have MOQ of almost 200-500 pcs. For a fresh E-Commerce startup, reaching a high MOQ may not be within a company’s financial range or won’t be required for producing so many units. However, higher MOQ generally makes the price per unit a lot cheaper.

In China, small industries might be more interested in providing a lower MOQ than greater manufacturers because smaller companies do smaller businesses. A foreign company, interested in working with a small-sized business in China, has to ensure it is capable of achieving its manufacturing goals and is in compliance with the product standards. This will not only save the company time and resources, it will also avoid poor quality production.

The Global Buyers of China

Chinese higher quality products have made global buyers turn towards manufacturing in the country for a long time. In short, the main reason a buyer prefers Chinese products, even if they are substandard, is that they have pushed the manufacturer towards a cheap price. In fact, a common saying about Chinese manufacturing is “you get what you pay for”.

However, low prices come with a catch. One should be very careful not to negotiate prices down too low as a reduction in price usually ends up in a reduction of the quality of the product. If the manufacturer isn’t paid well for covering the production of the product, they are indirectly forced to make cuts that affect the production or design of a product.

The Legal Aspects of Manufacturing in China

Cheap and low-priced products generally give way to breeding of counterfeit products. A manufacturing company that comprises thousands of manufacturers implies that while a buyer may have countless choices to choose from for the right fit, he is also vulnerable to manufacturing cheats and scams. 

As part of the due process, one should particularly take measures to assess a few things when ordering a product in China; the companies the manufacturer has worked with previously, the location of the company, and the presence of a business license. All these aspects are to ensure no counterfeit products are purchased in place of original ones. 

However, since the license will be in Chinese, one needs to have the support of a reliable translation agency which can translate the product material on time. Other than that, the agency could also be asked to look through the Industrial and Commercial Bureau to see if the company is actually registered in the province they claim to be in.

The Last Word

China’s manufacturing landscape is growing with each progressive year. While not every manufacturing factory is reliable, every company has contributed to adding to the country’s GDP. As the country shows progress in the manufacturing sector, more factory owners are requesting inspection services on third-party inspection services for an outside opinion on how to improve their quality to meet customer expectations. Nevertheless, resourceful manufacturing requires active business processes backed by technology to make meaningful progress, and China is on the road to achieving that manufacturing success soon.

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Antonia November 4, 2020 0 Comments

Why Machine Translation Cannot Replace Human Translators

Effective and precise communication is very important to deal with the globalized world and to expand your business across borders. That is why so many companies hire translation services. The advancement of machine technology has taken translation services to the next level. Some companies opt for machine translation and some opt for human translation.

Difference Between Human Translation and Machine Translation

Technology advancement has impacted different fields of the world and the translation industry is one of them. The machine can do translations but human translation is the best form of translating all kinds of written documents, marketing material, magazines, websites, legal documents, product manuals, and many more. Human translators do the translation by taking all the necessary aspects into consideration, to provide their audience with an impeccable translation that leaves an impact on them.

Machine translation only does the translation from one language to another. It can not perform as a human does. Humans consider the intended message to be retained in the translation process whereas machine translation does only literal translation. 

What do you think the future holds? Will the advancement in machine translation outpace the human translators? No! Why? Primarily because the machines cannot comprehend the cultural aspects and may fail where creative translation (transcreation) is needed!

Let us have a look at why machine translation cannot replace human translation. 

Machine Translation Can Not Deliver Contextual Meaning

There are thousands of languages spoken around the globe and in each language, there are different words that have different meanings according to the context. Context is very important, and out of context translation can ruin the intended message. Peter Gilliver, who is the lexicographer of the Oxford English dictionary narrated that in the English language, the form of verb run has 645 different meanings. Now the question is whether the machine translation can translate all these meanings in their different contexts in more than one language. The answer is no. Humans can translate the context of the word in different languages and they also relate words according to different situations. The competent translator can translate all the homonyms of the words in each language and their relationship with other words. 

At present, machine translation does not possess any skill that can translate different contexts and different meanings that a single word has in the context. So, it’s obvious, we need human translation for in-context translation.

Machine Translation Cannot Understand the Nuances of the Culture

Every country has its own norms and values that shape their culture. The culture of the region also determines their way of communication. The problem with machine translation is that it cannot be sensitive to culture. The idioms, phrases, and slangs used in every culture are different. Machines cannot be programmed to understand the culture. The same words spoken in different cultures have different meanings. Some words and phrases that are considered humorous in one culture might be offensive in other cultures. Only human translators can identify these differences. While machine translation only can do a literal translation. The human translators are native to the cultures and can understand the cultural and linguistic nuances. This gives human translation an edge over machine translation. 

Machines Cannot Be Programmed For Localization

The integration of socio-cultural aspects is what makes translation effective. Linguistics know languages keep on changing according to their cultural requirements and they pay special attention to the contextual meaning. On the other hand, it is very difficult to program machines for new words that appear every time in translation as per their localized dialect. To handle this problem, many machines are regularly programmed with algorithms, but this is a very tedious and time-taking task.

 As contrary to the machine, human translators can easily adapt to the new changes in the language and provide you with impeccable translation with a correct and equivalent combination of words.

Machine Translation Requires Human To Operate

To program the machine with an algorithm and to give it instructions, human beings are required. After the translation, proofreading is required to identify any grammatical and lexical errors. The human translators give the finishing touch to your piece of the document as per the needs of the localized audience. The intricacies of different languages can only be understood by human beings. Artificial intelligence cannot be compared with human intelligence because artificial intelligence is also processed by human beings. Machine translation is developed to assist human translation and not to eradicate them. So human translation cannot be taken over by machine translation.

Machine Translators Cannot Translate According To Style and Tone

Every linguistic writing has a different style and tone, and for seamless translation, it is necessary to translate documents according to their original tone. The translation machines are programmed in such a way that they swap the words with the most appropriate vocabulary, but the use of appropriate vocabulary is not sufficient. For example, there is a difference in tone when we use the words pleasure and happiness. Machines cannot differentiate between the style and tone of words. This is the biggest difference between machine and human translation. Only the human translator can provide you with seamless translation according to the tone of your document.

Bottom Line 

No doubt the machine translation has come a long way since the last decade and many translation companies are using its services to produce rapid translation at an economical rate but this technology is still in the process of innovation and its results need human assistance to get verified. The end of the story is, that precise and accurate translation can only be done by human translators. Chinese Translation Services has a team of native translators that provides you with robust translation services in fast turnaround time and economical rates. Visit us for more details.

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Antonia October 29, 2020 0 Comments