Challenges in Translating Chinese Creative Literary Works

What does a writer want? If a written book is appreciated by the readers, discussed in the book clubs, and that it is translated into multi-languages. You’d be surprised to learn writers from the western side of the world find Chinese text impeccably curious. Especially the Americans, who like to read and learn Chinese are often seen trying to translate Chinese novels. Jeremy Stevenson is one of those Americans who showed a keen interest in Chinese literature. He tried translating Liu Cixin’s work “The Three Body Problem” into English. Since then, the book has sold over 110,000 copies! 

However, was it easy for him to translate the Chinese book? To achieve this milestone, Stevenson had to face certain complications that any translator usually faces during translation from Chinese into any other target language. 

The Chinese language comprises pictograms (strokes), not letters, which makes the translation process harder and time taking. 

What Stevenson felt was that contemporary Chinese fiction is rather fascinating, but these aren’t easily available in the market. If any of them is available, it is sold off at Amazon, or available in poor quality. This is one of the standard issues with the Chinese context. 

Why Do Translators Face Challenges in Chinese Content?

The reason why most of the Chinese work goes unnoticed is because of language origin. Languages that are written with the help of letters follow the basic structure despite the differences like German, Italian, or English. 

The literary translators need a strong understanding of language to translate Mandarin Chinese to English. So as you can expect, literature conveys information in a particular way. Translators with a Mandarin Chinese background tend to produce a good quality translation of Chinese literacy. 

What Makes a Literary Translator Great?

The ability to overcome the challenges of a language.

Remember that Mandarin is divided into two main categories; Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. Besides these two prime categories, there are other regional dialects as well. Keeping these in mind, we have compiled a list of a few primary aspects that make Chinese translation difficult. 

  • Unrelated grammar rules 

What is the major difference between English and Chinese? The grammar rules applicable in English are not applicable to Chinese (either simplified or traditional version) language. Mandarin Chinese is specifically alien to English grammar. The fundamental rules of verb conjugations simply don’t exist in Chinese grammar. 

It adds to the complication of the accuracy of content from Chinese to English. So a message needs to be conveyed differently. 

  • Topic prominence 

A topic-prominent language requires a translator’s focus. You need to listen or read the sentence to understand what is being said in the context. Because the standard grammar does not apply to Mandarin Chinese, it is important to read and reread the content carefully before translating Mandarin. 

This isn’t only time taking, but also puts the translator into a heavy workload. A reader needs to comprehend the literature context even after the translation process ends. Proofreading subtracts major chunks, which is why you need to make sure that subject prominent languages like Chinese or English or even French are thoroughly interpreted. 

  • Characters and meanings

What is the average number of Chinese characters that a reader has to read in a Chinese newspaper?

Usually, an average of 2000 to 3000 Chinese characters are in a Chinese newspaper. If you are reading a book, the numbers can exceed more than 50,000 Chinese characters. Chinese characters are comprised of logograms rather than phonemes. 

Chinese characters indicate unique meanings if combined with different characters. This also affects the pronunciations, making the pronunciations somewhat similar. To differentiate the tones and meanings means to place the characters in the sentence that makes sense around the context. 

  • Writing script 

As mentioned earlier, there are two major houses for the Chinese language–Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. The complexity of strokes is different in both dialects. Simplified Chinese (as the name suggests) has lesser strokes than Traditional Chinese. 

To summarize this, the script complicates the literacy work. The simplified version is easy to translate comparatively to the Traditional Chinese. Usually, the major literary works like Chinese poetry, historical and cultural references are often available in Traditional Chinese, which makes the translation difficult. 

  • Difference in expressions 

To be a creative translator, he/she must have the right understanding of the Chinese characters. The Chinese lexicon comprises unique references from history and culture, which is why a non-native speaker faces a hard time understanding it. 

The use of idioms, metaphors, and sayings is extremely common in Chinese literature. A translator cannot ignore them in translation or simplify it either because each metaphor, idiom, and saying consists of creative expression. This is another reason a translator must have deep knowledge and understanding of the Chinese culture and literature before he can even begin the translation. 

How a Literal Translator Can Improve?

Literary translators specifically have the skillset in literary works. They do know the basics, but with time, they need to update their skills too. What makes a great literary translator is their level of understanding of the Chinese characters and overall content’s essence. 

It’s the job of a translator to interpret the source context and to translate it into the target language in a way that rightfully conveys the meaning. 

Moreover, Shanghai Translation Grants were established in 2015, to overcome the translation problem and to improve the translation quality of the Chinese literature. It drastically improved the readership of native Chinese books that were translated into English, Vietnamese, Serbian, and Japanese. According to the respective policies, the grant was eligible for the published or non-published translated books in the following categories. 

  • Literature 
  • Art
  • History 
  • Children’s books

If such steps are taken by the government, they can promote their native culture and language from a literal point of view. This will improve one’s perception of culture and language. Also, this will encourage foreign translators to dwell deeper into Chinese literature and expand their knowledge. 

Popular Chinese books are breaking the overseas barriers, let’s see how long it further takes to develop a strong foothold in the market.  

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Antonia October 19, 2020 0 Comments

Everything You Need to Know about PEO in China

The world of today is a competitive marketplace with loads of challenges and opportunities for businesses. One of the challenges these businesses routinely face is that of employee hiring and recruitment, and not all companies have the time and resources to go through the rigorous hiring process. This is where PEO comes in.

Professional Employer Organization, also known as Foreign Enterprise Service Company (FESCO) in China, is a third-party local business that provides HR services to another business and is usually a medium-sized enterprise, providing access to affordable HR services to other companies. The PEO is responsible for the execution of all legal and regulatory requirements of payroll, immigration, staff recruiting, and training, as well as routine activities related to employee recruitment.

Since PEO deals with all the administrative tasks such as recruiting employees, the company is able to focus on work performance for providing better results in a short time. Companies prefer to use PEOs due to its excellent work of resolving the regular based issues and because it’s cheaper with regards to recruiting employees in a remote location.

All the states, especially China and some provinces have their own exclusive work permit, employment, and payroll conditions for non-resident businesses. Fulfilling those requirements can be a problem when it comes to expanding businesses internationally. However, for certain enterprises that are just trying to enter a fresh market and are comprised of limited Human Resources, a PEO is the most feasible decision.

PEO’s functions

In short, a PEO is actually a legal body that;

  • Manages all work permits and visa requirements for workers, therefore eliminating all sorts of denials and delays. 
  • Proposes a registered body that controls an amenable and local payroll in a province, region, or state.
  •  Abides by all the laws of the region, host state, or country, concerning the national contracts as well as employee protections.
  • Guides the company of the client according to the terms and conditions of the suitable notice durations, termination rules, and also severance payments. 

Professional Employer Organization in China

It is said that the average time required to create even a representative office in China is between 4 to 6 months. Although the strong economic growth in China attracts a large number of foreign investors to China, these companies often overlook the fact that the administrative and legal process required in setting up a business in China is a rigorous one. The Chinese business landscape has a lot to offer in terms of challenges and opportunities. This is the reason Chinese companies go for employing foreign-based organization for hiring and recruiting of employees. 

There is a dire need for employing local people in China owing to linguistic and trade barriers. According to China’s labor dispatch laws presented by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), these foreign-invested companies face countless challenges while appointing a native workforce in China. A local PEO is able to overcome these challenges, given that they are licensed to employ employees for host firms. Not only that, PEO companies hold the experience, credibility, and market that a freshly entered foreign company in China will never have.

For simply understanding the staff leasing procedures in China, a more practical way should be discovered for learning about the expertise of a PEO which is also familiar with the local labor guidelines for saving time in launching a business in China. 

Professional Employer Organization—an Overview

Professional Employer Organizations have evolved and expanded with time. The customary multi-year foreign deployment has gradually transformed into smaller, more resourceful projects that incorporate one or more provinces/countries/states in a single year.

This fresh trend has buried the concept of ” Do It Yourself (DIY)” of entering into any market and has also boosted up the demand for national deployment alternatives to grow. The majority of firms now prefer options such as appointing immigration specialists, payroll outsourcing and discovering local business companions to alleviate burdens on their resources. Nevertheless, a proper solution is yet required for building up a single source service that is able to deal with all the native employment chores.

Global Employment Organization (GEO) takes care of the modern demands, making it possible for corporations to promptly enter a new market and appoint workforces lawfully and efficiently.

Benefits of using (PEO) in China

There are numerous different advantages of PEO for any company using the Professional Employer Organization in tandem with the GEO services. In the majority of cases, the PEO draws the utmost advantages while doing business in a country where the complexity, expense, and conformity risk of home services are too costly.

  •  No Need for Local Integration

When a firm goes for the (DIY) approach, its local body needs to be registered and legalized. This is usually expensive and time-consuming as well.

The good news is that PEO is already based on a legitimately operational entity. This is why it is able to easily deal with all the payrolls, employment, and immigration problems in the host region legally.  

  • Compliance with Immigration Laws

Immigration policies and laws in several countries keep changing and the inquiry conducted by the foreign governments, especially when issuing work permits and visas are on the rise. 

Therefore, countless companies go for a GEO remedy presented by a local PEO. By using PEO, the Staff on working on a project can be lawfully certified to perform its duty in the host region or state. PEO takes care of all the work permit requirements, preventing any issues, and unnecessary inquiry from taking place from the immigration sector.

  • Operating a Local payroll in the host country:

A large number of regions, states, and countries need a corporation consisting of workers on assignment to run their payroll in tandem with local standards by using a registered body. 

The main quality of operating a local payroll is the retention and computation of statutory deductions from the pay, with allowances like health insurance, taxes, and pensions. PEO implements all significant details, analyzes that the payroll is updated and remains compliant for each deployed worker.

The Future of PEO

Advantages of using a PEO for global and regional organizations become obvious when a firm analyzes the cost and time spent in a (DIY) style. PEO provides a layer of lawful protection for any company, by taking accountability of most parts required for deploying employees in some other region. Undoubtedly the future of the Professional Employer Organization is very bright, as more and more states regions and countries are revising their local terms and conditions on immigration and employment, to restrain loss and abuses of revenue related to tax returns.  Companies should find a way of dealing with this barrier of conducting business in foreign countries. Therefore, PEO is becoming a significant approach for recruiting both local citizens and expats.

The Last Word

By employing the services of a reliable and professional PEO, companies can be relieved of the tremendous administrative and legal burdens of doing business in other countries, especially China. Likewise, companies seeking to expand their presence in China can benefit by hiring a PEO to do the job. However, many complications still occur, such as obtaining work visas or residence permits. As Chinese immigration laws are subject to revision and change every year, a PEO knows how to get the hiring process going, and is the best choice for countries where the business landscape is a tough one.

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Antonia October 19, 2020 0 Comments

Choosing the Right CRM to Operate in the Chinese Market

In the world of business, everyone follows a set of rules that take them towards success. While it is commonly quoted that “the customer is always right”, companies often lag behind in providing that quality customer service that is needed. In order to deal with this problem of managing customer queries and demands, businesses have come up with a program that addresses specifically to customer needs. 

The CRM (customer relationship management) program is a tool that aids corporations to organize, collect, and access customer information, with a goal to manage and provide better consumer support. CRM software connects various departments of a company and shares significant real-time data regarding consumers, and has the ability to generate data from marketing, sales, and customer service by keeping it organized. This information is then used for optimizing business programs and retaining consumers.

The task of optimizing business processes and retaining customers is a difficult one, particularly in China where competition is high and new entrants are willing to take over control. This is why CRM software has become a necessity in this highly competitive market. 

However, before a company undertakes the task of choosing a CRM software, it has to keep in mind certain variables, such as software costs, scalability, and business value. Additionally, it should ensure the CRM software that it is choosing is fully integrated into the market so that it can fulfill all customer requirements effectively and efficiently.

The Advantages of CRM Software

When a firm uses a CRM program, it reaps the benefits of a fruitful and productive business. The consumers are able to gain a personalized experience, along with the option to make a complaint if any arises. The CRM software lends the facility of automated data entry as well, which helps a company save its precious time and effort. 

Having the facility of real-time data is a needed one, as it allows a company to develop better relationships with consumers. The experiences acquired through CRM software will definitely make a firm understand the demands of its customers and address them effectively, paving the way for a better relationship with them. Additionally, by using a CRM program, a huge jump can be observed in sales, profits, and the number of customers. In short, CRM software is the best tool a company can employ, if it wants greater profits and sales. 

Western CRM Tools in China

In China, Western Customer Relationship Management tools are not blocked. But it is also true that not all of the CRM tools are considered to be the right choice.

Several CRM programs that are operating in the West might lack Chinese payment methods and connections with Chinese platforms. They might have the complete Chinese translated version missing altogether. In such cases, data collection may not be as systematic as it should be which will ultimately result in weakening the usability of CRM for the business.

CRM Solutions used in China

Some CRM solutions have been jotted out by the experts that are mostly used in China for business integration and are discussed below;

a) SAP

The first top CRM solution is SAP. SAP is known as CRM software that is devoted to supporting “intelligent enterprises” in China. This software can be used by B2C and B2B companies as well.  It is quite helpful in the fields of marketing management, commerce, service, sales, and consumer data, and renowned Chinese corporations such as Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu are among SAP’s customers.

b) WeChat CRM

WeChat is known as the most essential social media in China today. In fact, it has quickly become one of the most appropriate marketing channels in China. WeChat CRM solution is a perfect way to integrate social media platforms with a CRM program. However, WeChat CRM tools have certain limitations, as it focuses on the WeChat platform only and addresses only those customers who are registered on WeChat.

c) HubSpot

HubSpot is a very good choice for the Chinese market as it enables international organizations to manage their work through one system. Although HubSpot doesn’t have a Chinese version, it is still popularly chosen by organizations to manage their customer relationship management. 

d) Microsoft

Microsoft has CRM software known as “Dynamics 365” consisting of an advanced data collection features. This CRM system is highly customizable and comes with countless features that can be efficiently used for enhancing sales, increase customer services, and improve overall operations.

e) Oracle

Oracle is considered as CRM software of the future. Oracle has introduced a tool that has the ability to deal with several challenges that modern businesses are likely to encounter. The Oracle CRM solution is very progressive and is perfect for large companies comprising a great consumer base and sophisticated work.

f) Salesforce

Salesforce CRM software is optimized for China. Salesforce focuses on updating the software continuously for providing trustworthy performances and scalability.

A Look at the emerging Chinese CRMs

Other than the western CRM software, there are several local Chinese solutions available which can prove to be a wise option for enhancing business operations. Here are a few CRM software which are likely to take over the business landscape of the future.

  • Big Cat

Big Cat is a new platform comprising core features that are identical to HubSpot. Unlike western CRM tools though, Big Cat proposes very few core features, which makes it a less flexible solution.

  • Xiaoman Keji

Xiaoman Keji focuses on Chinese companies and is designed according to the thinking of Chinese people. However, it is limited in operation as it does not support English.

  • Kingdee

Kingdee is local software that features the program in both Chinese and English. It works best when is used with an international team. This solution is very easy to use and is well-integrated with native platforms.

CRM Solutions—what the future holds?

 As far as choosing the right CRM is concerned, the answer lies in a customized approach. Any CRM software that a company chooses will have some limitations of its own. This is the reason it is best to choose a customized CRM software that will address all business concerns effectively.

Customizing CRM software basically means making it more suitable for fulfilling the needs of the business. There are countless ways to customize CRM software. For example, a company might require some additional fields which are unsupported by the platforms but are mandatory for collecting information about the customers. A company can customize its CRM software to fit in the answers and customer queries, addressing those queries which are most commonly registered. 

In other cases, a company can integrate current sales and marketing automation tools for creating a specific situation which will be a significant step towards gaining more profits.

The Last Word

A CRM platform does the work of a whole business operation. Due to the nature of these software, their benefits in the integration of business operations are undeniable. Understandably, companies that have invested in CRM software experience a rise in sales, customer satisfaction, and greater business productivity. The Chinese market is no exception—a company has to choose the most suitable CRM in order to take advantage of the high population and technological advancement in China. This will pave the way for greater business productivity, growth, and excellence that companies aim for globally. 

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Antonia October 19, 2020 0 Comments

Exploring the Significance of Chinese Translation Services

China – emerging as the business world’s superpower is something to marvel at. With more than 1.5 billion people living in China, millions speak Mandarin Chinese, traditional, or simplified. Millions of Chinese natives are spread around the world too. However, foreign businesses want a layout of the Chinese market, which is not possible without a proper Chinese translation. 

It is an overpopulated country with the highest speakers being of Mandarin Chinese. Mandarin is the official language of China and is used professionally too. Chinese are very particular about their cultural values and language. So, this doesn’t come as a surprise when foreign businesses have to translate and localize their content in the Chinese.

Chinese is good for Communication 

For a foreign business, translating content into Chinese can become one of their greatest assets.   In the business world, doing business transactions in Chinese is fruitful for a lot of reasons. Globalization plays a vital role in translation and localization services. Companies looking to tie a knot with Chinese partners can learn exclusively meanwhile  expanding geographically in China’s market. 

Chinese is usually classified into two major categories; Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. Although it does depend on which region you choose to establish roots. In mainland China, Simplified Mandarin is actively spoken but the farther your move away from the main hub the denser the dialect will become. Learning a local dialect (which will be in Chinese) is a tough nut to crack, you need to understand the vocabulary and most importantly learn about the writing system too. 

Why Chinese is an important language for foreign businesses?

Learning a new language is not an easy feat. For professionals, the best opportunity to communicate is by hiring Chinese translation services that can communicate on behalf of your company. Foreign companies when entering the Chinese market have to;

  • Use mandarin Chinese as the official language for communication and official documents
  • Adapt the business strategies according to the Chinese culture, so that your products, services, and brand looks local. 
  • You will have to deal with legal matters as well. Every piece is written in Chinese. So, being the official language of China, Mandarin is one language you need to work around with. 

So if it’s a “yes” for your interest in the Chinese market, then the following factors point out more than the obvious significance of the Chinese translation services. 

Chinese Etiquette

Growing business in China is not only about translation. Even if you do not have a regional office in China, you could still provide products to Chinese consumers. But the sale at that point will be low. 

It’s about learning Chinese etiquette. The business culture in China is unique and has different practices than the States. It’s easy to offend a Chinese supplier, client, or customer if you lack the cultural understanding. You cannot solely focus the product or service without gaining the trust of consumers and local partners. 

For instance, a solid handshake is a welcomed gesture in Chinese culture, while in the US, a casual handshake (with an easy-grip) is preferred.

Do you feel the difference yet? It’s not only the business practices but also the social practices you need to follow to build trust. 

Largest E-commerce market 

Coming in as the second-largest economy (after the United States), China still is ranked at the largest E-commerce market. An economical giant like China has webbed out in every possible industry to ever exist. It not only hosts the world’s largest internet users but also has the largest e-commerce net worth in billions!

The e-commerce market in China is progressively active. There are more mobile users in China than anywhere else in the world. Being a fast-changing market, it’s a tough job to keep up with the trends. SEO practices become irrelevant because of the Google ban, so you have to localize not only your content but advertising and marketing too. 

It is a popular language 

Do people often ask why to learn Chinese? It’s not only for personal reasons but for professional reasons too. There’s a lot of difference between Mandarin and Chinese language. You need to understand Mandarin is a “variation” of the Chinese language, besides other forms of Chinese dialects, including Cantonese, Hakka, and Fuzhou, and so on. 

Comparatively to other versions, Mandarin is the most popular of all. Did you know currently 840 million people speak Mandarin? Yes, that’s right. This is another reason why Chinese translation services become a necessary step in conducting your business in China. 

In the commercial world of China, Mandarin is the quickest way to reach the consumer. So needless to say you’ll need translation, localize the content according to the region. 

Tough Competition 

Rise and shine? It’s more like you need translation and localization to be at the top for the neck to neck competition. A raging economy indicates the companies should invest in the country in good times with the help of government support. 

To build a strong base in China, hiring professional translation agencies is just one of the many crucial steps you need to take. From document translation to website localization, it’s like bringing in the big guns for the local consumer. But do ensure that the translation is error-free, unbiased, and engages the audience the desired way. Otherwise, it could;

  • Damage the brand’s goodwill
  • Limit the sales 
  • Create financial problems (backing up the investors)
  • Legal complications, etc.

The website is the public portfolio

The internet knows no boundary. Chinese advertising tactics are mostly commenced on WeChat, QR codes, etc. However, handling the website is another matter. International brands translate their websites in multiple languages including Chinese to indicate that they do care for the Chinese consumer too. 

Concaving with the local Chinese festivals (or any other native festival) proposes the idea of brand intimacy for the local audience. It removes the language barrier, which is why hiring Chinese translation services is as crucial as ever. 

Conclusion 

The significance doesn’t just end there, but within our limited time, we do keep sharing the knowledge that helps you to have a better understanding of why your Chinese translation is important. Choosing the right linguistic is important, it doesn’t matter which industry you cover, a Chinese language partner will follow you till the end. 

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Antonia October 8, 2020 0 Comments

Do’s and Don’ts in Doing Business in China

Every country has its values and culture that define its way of doing business. Although we all get impressed by developed countries, successful nations don’t copy them, but they try to achieve success by following their culture. China is one such country. If you want to start your business in China, then you need to adopt the Chinese business culture. As a foreign entrepreneur, you need to learn how to get along with Chinese counterparts. Knowing the Chinese traditions and culture is important to prepare yourself for Chinese business deals, no matter how experienced you are.

Let’s have a look at do’s and don’ts in Chinese business culture that will help you in making your business successful and avoid any pitfalls.

Negotiation in Chinese Culture 

  • If you don’t know the Chinese language well, then it is recommended to take your Chinese interpreter with you when you are going for business negotiation. The interpreter will help you understand the terminologies used in business negotiation, especially when business talks are held in the Chinese language.
  • If you want to know how business decisions are made in your organization, then you need to know family relationships rather than the organizational structure of the company.
  • In conducting business meetings, you are required to make different presentations at different levels because the structure of organizations in China are highly hierarchical.
  • Prepare a presentation in black and white and avoid colors. Be prepared for the meetings and get 20 copies of your proposal to give handouts to the audience.
  • Meetings are started with small talks.
  • Chinese people tend to develop a strong relationship before closing a deal, so you have to conduct meetings several times so that your deal gets finalized.
  • Meetings in Chinese culture can be arranged and canceled on short notice and meetings can also be held on weekends.
  • You need to be very calm and composed during business negotiations. If you lack patience, then it can result in business deal failure.
  • When people in China enter the conference room for the meeting, they enter in a hierarchical order. It means that the head of the meeting enters the room first.
  • The working hours for business are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Friday.
  • To show professionalism and to have a good impression on the other party, Chinese people use business cards with one side in English and the other side in Chinese. Chinese characters should be accurate and precise.
  • The business card in Chinese culture is presented with both hands because it is considered to be a precious thing.
  • When you receive a business card then it is recommended to read and praise the content and place it in your valet. You can also place it in front of your table.
  • In the business negotiation, it is required to shake hands firmly, speak loud, and lead the conversation. The chain of command is followed and the junior assistants cannot interrupt during the conversation.
  • When the meeting ends, all of them are required to leave the meeting room hierarchically.
  • Networking in the Chinese world is more important than written documents.
  • As a foreign entrepreneur, you need to visit China frequently to show your presence and to develop a business relationship with Chinese stakeholders.
  • In Chinese culture, politeness and humility are given great importance. They are not straightforward. If they want to say no, they will say like I need to think or I am not sure.
  • Chinese people keep the business negotiations going so you don’t get tired by resuming the business negotiations again.

Some Quick Tips

  • English is a language of global business, but not all the businesses in the world are conducted in English. So you need to know the Chinese language and its different dialects.
  • You should practice speaking slowly.
  • Pronounce the words with clarity.
  • Avoid jokes and slang in business communication.
  • Use proper graphics in the presentation.

Business Meals

  • Doing business in China is all about making relationships so you need to attend business meals.
  • Business meals include lunch or dinner in China, and breakfast is omitted.
  • Dinner time is from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and it lasts for a few hours.
  • You need to sit in a business meal when you are asked by the host.
  • The guest of the honor is seated in the middle of the table and his seat is always reserved. The guest needs to sit to the left of the host.
  • You cannot start eating in business meals before the host because it is considered rude.
  • Chinese cuisine comprises a lot of different delicious dishes like a combination of vegetables, meat, and fish.
  • Normally Rice is served at the end of the meal, but you can also ask for a bowl of rice in-between.
  • Tea is a famous drink in China and alcohol is served complimentary to check the true face of business partners. If you don’t want to drink alcohol, you can replace it with soft drinks.
  • In the Chinese culture, the host rotates the toast after giving a little speech about the acknowledgment of good food and tells about good business relationships. The hosts end their speech by saying ‘ganbai’ that means bottoms up. You also need to make a speech when toast reaches you.
  • It is very common in China to invite your Chinese business partners for lunch or dinner, but do not make lunch or dinner lavish otherwise your Chinese partner will lose face.
  • You can take your Chinese business partners to a good Chinese restaurant or any foreign restaurant if they have a taste for western food.
  • Giving tips in Chinese culture is considered an insult.

Business Communication 

  • Chinese people usually do chit chat before going for serious business talks. They do ask about your views about China and Chinese food. You should take part in their conservation to build a rapport with them.
  • Chinese people will get impressed by you if they know that you are aware of Chinese culture, history, and geography.
  • Some topics are very sensitive for Chinese people like the China-Taiwan dispute and Tibet issue.
  • If you learn some Chinese words then you will be able to impress your Chinese business partners. They will appreciate your linguistic skill, no matter how bad your pronunciation is.

Body Language

  • Your body posture should be attentive and formal and you need to stay calm and composed during meetings.
  • Use your hands appropriately. Biting the nails, putting your hands in a mouth are considered very rude in Chinese business culture.

Wrapping Up 

You can operate and expand your business smoothly without any legal implications if you understand the business culture of China.  In case you need business document translation, Chinese Translation Services has got you covered!

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Antonia October 8, 2020 0 Comments

All You Need to Know about App Localization for Chinese Market

The app localization business is the fastest and most lucrative business in the world, and it is definitely on the to-do list of most businesses for 2020. The reason is simple—it has proven itself to be an effective way to gain more market share and a sure way of achieving sales globally. However, there are certain countries that yield more returns if you localize your app for them. The Chinese market is one of these lucrative markets.

If you succeed in localizing your app for the Chinese market, be assured that you have hit the jackpot!

With a user penetration rate of approximately 23% in 2020, and expected to hit 25.5% by 2024, China can be counted as among the top markets for mobile apps. If numbers are anything to go by, the number of active users on third-party mobile apps touched 472 million in the year 2018, and that figure is expected to soar to 485 million in 2020.

Here’s a brief look at the app market in China.

The Chinese App Market—Android vs iOS

The Chinese market is a hotbed of opportunities, particularly for app developers. This can be ascertained by the fact that the revenue in the Chinese apps industry is projected to reach approximately USD 555 million in 2020, with a growth rate of 7.2%. Not only that, but this growth is also expected to project a market volume of USD 734 million by 2024. 

Granted, the Chinese app market looks attractive enough to attract new entrants, but it is quite different from the Western app market. The Chinese app market is dominated by Android apps, followed by third-party apps and then iOS. Since China has its own search engine and does not rely on Google, this indicates the absence of Google from the app market, and ultimately that of Google Play. If localization into the Chinese app market is your goal, you will have to undergo a strict regulatory cycle of app certification through each of the app stores in the Chinese market. 

The most popular app store in China is Tencent MyApp App store with more than 270 million active users. This is followed by the Oppo app store and Huawei App store with 125 million and 122 million active users, respectively. 

Apple app store has a different game in the Chinese market altogether. While it dominates the western and Asian markets, the iOS app store has only a 14% market share in China. However, the Apple fans in China are generally loyal to the brand, which gives it an appreciable edge in the Chinese market. 

You might want to enter the Chinese market with both Android and iOS app versions of your apps, but that is an expensive undertaking that would incur a load of hassles. Choose wisely over which store you want to go for, as that would shape your app store success in the Chinese market.

As far as the Chinese app market is concerned, it is lucrative for new as well as old players. The question is, are your apps localized for this lucrative Chinese market?

The Rules for App Localization in China

One thing that new entrants in the Chinese app market need to keep in mind is that the Chinese market is different from any market in the world. No matter how popular their app is in the west, it might go unnoticed in China, as local apps dominate the Chinese digital landscape. 

Rule #1: Change the technical details

In order to fit your apps in the local market, there is a need to change the technical details of the apps, along with the linguistic ones. Although you can encode with any of these standards: EUC-CN, ISO-2022-CN-extension, ISO-2022-CN, or GBK, it’s wiser to use Unicode (UTF-8) as it supports all Chinese characters. In addition, it allows for multiple language localization as well. 

It is also important to find a local server to integrate your apps to the Chinese-based cloud system. To ensure your apps run without any disconnections, you need to have access to Chinese servers and for that, a partnership with a local entity is a must.

Rule#2: Translate your App

Translation is one of the most important steps in the process of app localization. This means you will have to spend extra bucks to hire a professional team that can translate your app into the Chinese language. Remember, using automated translation is not an option in China—Chinese people prefer complex expressions and hold different opinions with regards to writing styles. This is why you will need human translation to ensure your message and app resonates with the target market. 

Rule#3: Come up with a new app name

When entering the Chinese market you need to be flexible enough to exercise new ways of doing things. Changing your app name from the English version to Chinese is not only necessary, it might be the best marketing step you take. This is because the English name of your app might have different connotations in Chinese—and not all of these connotations will have a good impact on Chinese consumers.

Make sure to find a local Chinese name for your apps as it will create greater appeal for the Chinese audience. Work with a local marketing company to ensure you pick the right name that stays close to your brand message and also attracts the Chinese customer.

Rule #4: Promote your App the Chinese way

After you have made your app available in the Chinese market, you need to promote it too. Regardless of how good your app is, it won’t stand a chance if you don’t use proper promotion channels—think WeChat and Weibo. If you are thinking of taking Facebook, Twitter, or Google route, think again. These platforms don’t work in China, so you need to take advantage of WeChat’s one billion daily active users to promote your app in the Chinese market. Other than that, human interaction is highly appreciated in China, so go for discounts and special promotions as a way to attract more customers.

Rule #5: Consider all laws and regulations

When it comes to internet rules, China is a strict region. A small mistake can lead to your app getting banned in China. For that, you need to be constantly upgraded to the latest rules and regulations regarding cybersecurity and censorship. The Cyberspace Administration of China had implemented a new set of rules in 2016 for app developers regarding data privacy, censorship, and cybersecurity. This is why you need to work with a local partner who knows all these local laws and regulations.

The Last Word: the Chinese market is waiting

According to future estimates, by 2023, over 900 million Chinese users will have access to the internet from their smartphones. This means you will need to make your app localization move faster if you want to make an impression on the Chinese customer. Take time to plan your app launch in the Chinese market, but be prepared for all possibilities as the Chinese market is not only tougher than the western market but is also a profit-yielding and lucrative one. 

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Antonia September 30, 2020 0 Comments

Tips to Learn Mandarin Chinese Language

Mandarin Chinese is the sixth official language spoken by the UN, United Nations. It has gained great importance in the world of linguists. Mandarin Chinese is the official language of China. It is shaped by the Beijing dialect and the dialects that are spoken in the Northern areas of China. Mandarin Chinese language is taught as Yuwen in Chinese courses. 

China is emerging as the next superpower. If you want to do business with China, you need to mitigate the communication barrier. That can be done by learning the Mandarin Chinese language. Many developing countries have started offering Chinese learning courses to their people so that they can do business with China successfully.

 Why You Need to Learn Mandarin Chinese Language

Learning the new language is a great skill and if you learn more than one language and become bilingual or multilingual then you will be able to stand out in the fierce competition. If you are clear about your objective in learning the Mandarin Chinese language then you will learn the Chinese language quickly without making much effort.

Understanding the Different Tones

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language and the meaning of the words changes according to the tones. It does not make any difference even if the pronunciation and spellings are the same. It is very important to differentiate between the tones if you want to learn Mandarin Chinese correctly. Let’s have a look at four main tones.

  • The first tone starts with a high pitch and it sounds high and flat with no fluctuation.
  • The second tone rises moderately. Your voice rises from a low to middle pitch.
  • The third tone is a dipping tone, and it fluctuates from the middle to low and then high.
  • The fourth tone is lowering. It starts high and drops sharply to the bottom of the tone. English-speaking people often associate it with an angry command.

Understanding Basic Grammar

Some people have a misconception that grammar does not exist in the Chinese language, but the truth is grammar does exist and the grammar rules in the Chinese language are different from Indo-European and other language systems. Chinese is the analytic language that requires sheer dedication from learners.

  • In Mandarin Chinese, there are no complex rules like gender, plural nouns, agreement, tense, and conjugations. Many words contain single syllables that are then combined to make compound words. It makes sentence composition straightforward.
  • The Mandarin Chinese has its own set of grammar rules and they don’t have an equivalent in English and other Indo-European languages. For instance, the Chinese use grammar features like topic prominence, classifiers, and preferences. These are not used in other languages so it becomes difficult for learners to grasp.
  • Despite all these differences, the Chinese use the same sentence sequence, i.e., subject, verb, and object and it makes the translation process easy.

Learning the Use of Pinyin 

Pinyin is a system that is used for writing Mandarin Chinese. It uses the Roman alphabet. Hanyu Pinyin is the form of Romanization and it is used in textbooks for teaching materials.

  • Pinyin helps people who want to learn Mandarin to focus on their pronunciation. It also helps them to read and write Mandarin without learning complex Chinese characters. As pinyin uses the Roman alphabet so the pronunciation of their letters is not familiar to English speakers so it needs to be studied carefully.
  • It seems difficult to learn Pinyin but once you learn it then it is extremely beneficial for your language learning venture as it helps to recognize the traditional Chinese characters.

Practicing Reading and Writing Chinese Characters

The last step to learn Mandarin Chinese is to learn how to read and write traditional Chinese characters. It takes a lot of time because it requires memorization and continuous practice.

  • As per the BBC, there are around 50,000 Chinese characters in existence but not all of them are used. The person who wants to learn the Chinese language needs to know about 8000 Chinese characters but the acknowledgment of 2000 characters is enough to read a newspaper.
  • For writing the Chinese language, it is necessary to learn 214 radicals that are required for building blocks for every Chinese character. Some of the radicals are used independently while others are used to form complex characters.
  • You can learn the correct formation of characters from Chinese workbooks. They are designed basically for schoolchildren, but it can be useful for those who want to learn Chinese characters.

Wrapping Up

If you learn Mandarin Chinese language, it will further help you in learning other languages like Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, and other forms of literature even though they are different languages. Learning a new language is not easy, and it requires time and effort. Last but not the least, consistency is the key! 

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Antonia September 30, 2020 0 Comments

Why Global Companies Failed in China

Do you have what it takes to become a success in China? If this question were asked from the foreign companies, many would bob their heads in the agreement saying “Yes”. SWOT Analysis says otherwise.

You are a happy businessman when your company gets registered, local partners agree once, and your product is available in the market. Yet, the company fails to create its mark in the market. It’s not because the company was incompetent; failure happens because China is the most unpredictable country. The lack of understanding of the legal and cultural environment says a lot about how those companies failed. Companies willing to learn, talk, and adopt the Chinese way of business practice have made things work in the blink of an eye. 

How did they do it?

It’s not a big secret. If you have heard the saying; “When in Rome do as the Romans do” then you have your question answered. Localization and translation are the most integrated ways to retain a strong foothold in the Chinese market. 

 

The Main Point to Ponder: Can the Failed Companies Get Back in the Game?

Will western companies be doomed forever in China? Of course not, the problems are not insurmountable but it’s best to understand why the companies failed in the first place: 

 

Culture differences are a huge gap 

 

It’s not about how much effort you put to start your business in China. Business practices matter the most.  The common problems with the business practices are 

  • Censorship
  • Control
  • Culture differences 

These are the three significant drawbacks behind the systemic failure of western businesses. Major western brands like Starbucks, KFC, McDonald’s, Audi, and BMW, etc., manage varying levels of success in China. Even when Uber carefully managed their local Chinese subsidiary (partnered with Baidu) but still wound up retreating from the Chinese market. The competitor, Didi Chuxing, had a more massive cash reserve that monopolized the market. 

Likewise, western companies make silly choices that not only affect their sales but also introduce them to the world of localization – the key to survival in China. 

Still, it’s hard for western companies to gain a strong foothold in local search engines, contents, and especially social networks. Cultural differences, including language barriers, are hard to uphold. 

 

Winner takes all

 

The digital world of China is quite different as compared to the western world. Because of the long-term competitiveness of digital firms, it’s hard to overlook the incremental advantages. Usually, in the States, digital agencies aim for inimitable benefits. This strategy works in their favor as it is digital market-friendly. However, in China, they favor the native firms as they have a better understanding of the culture, consumer, and business practices. 

Managing relationships with consumers and local partners is second nature to these local companies. They are more adept at accepting market challenges or rise and fall in the trends of various products and services. Therefore, the Chinese digital world revolves around the theory; “winner takes all” which means one or two players have gained the upper hand in the target market and can snowball the ROI too. 

 

An experimental approach is a long battle 

 

The Chinese market is the most developed. Consumers do not remain on a brand for long; if a better substitute arrives in the market, they will switch towards it. Thus the ever-changing market style has led several brands towards the experimental approach with their products. New ideas can quickly become obsolete if you were slow to implement. Frequent change in business strategies and reimbursement of work is required in the Chinese market. 

Western companies fail to comprehend the idea of how Chinese market trends change at lightning speed.  Innovation is a vital tool that can be accomplished by localizing the products and services and innovating SEO practices as well. Even the strongest foreign companies tend to fail because they are unable to keep up with the technicalities of the Chinese market. 

 

Rackety localized operations

 

The language barrier is constant for foreign companies. To overcome the language bridge, they hire translation services. But what if the translation agency you hired didn’t do the job in the right way?  China is a vast market, tough to conquer especially with a strong retaliation from the local competitors. 

Just because a particular brand is successful in the US or Europe doesn’t guarantee success in the Asian market. When companies jump on the Chinese markets, they do so in a hurry, thinking that brand name is enough. They fail to understand that their brand reputation may exist in the western countries, but the reputation “does not exist” among Chinese consumers. 

Nokia failed to make its mark in China. Even though it was a global leader in mobile phones, it was unable to grasp the concept of software and kept its sole focus on the hardware. The fear resulted in the “stagnant product”. It not only affects the user experience but failed to impress the future internet generation. 

Down Below Are Examples of the Brand That Failed Notoriously in China 

Barbie

one of the epic failures in China. The ironic part is, the doll itself was favored instead of the “brand”. When a six-story shop opened in Shanghai, the planning went array. The shop included a restaurant, hair and nail salon, cocktail bar, and even a spa. Poor planning led to a confused target audience, whether the House of Barbie was meant for kids or adults. No one could say for sure. 

Home Depot

the DIYs are not a hit among Chinese consumers. Whereas American prowess led to social media influencer’s blogging about DIYs, it was a failure. Chinese consumers belong from a middle class; the culture is different from an American household. The company fully stocked its 12 stores with DIY materials which failed to make any sale at all because of the store format, the idea behind people buying a home is an investment not for improvement and strong local competitors. 

Google

A the well-known company got victimized due to politics. With the censorship and poor decisions, and no Gmail, or YouTube, the company didn’t want to keep its servers in China as the legal policies were harsh. Government demands to restrict the data content further made the company edge. Moreover, a breach was traced in 2009 that was said to have stolen corporate secrets. 

Amazon

A pioneer as a failure in China. They tried to make things work for 15 years but were unable to exploit the Chinese labor force to produce the much-needed results in China. Competitors used cheaper utilization while they focused on more organized methods of utilizing labor. It was an ultimate doom. 

Bottom Line

To capture a piece of a slice from Chinese markets, it is imperative to understand the local market, language, and most importantly, the culture. Keep your focus on how the trends keep on changing and ways to manage it with local partners. There’s always a second chance. 

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Antonia September 30, 2020 0 Comments

How to Start Your E-Commerce Business in China

China is a lucrative market for foreign investors. The market trends are forecasted and therefore the products’ demands are taken into account accordingly by the local businesses. Foreign competitors looking for the window of opportunity are keen to become a key player in the markets of China.

E-commerce business in China has been flourishing for more than a decade now, this brings in the tough guns for foreign brands. Do you want to know the secret behind the explosive growth of e-commerce business in China? Thanks to its middle-class consumers, and their pockets full of disposable income, local brands have created a risk-free platform for their local audience.

Do you think you have what it takes to enter the e-commerce business in China? If yes, then you will need this guide to establish a strong understanding of the dos and don’ts you need to take care of before starting the e-commerce business.

Tax-free Purchases

Are you looking for a tax-free amount?  If you are dealing with a transaction that costs 5,000 RMB, the new limit will be 26000 RMB (annually). If you purchase the products within this limit, then you are free from any charge on import tariffs.

This stimulates the opportunity to make bulk purchases and only 70% of tax will be collected at the usual rate.

Daigou is Forbidden

Long gone are the days when a seller used to buy a product outside of China at a cheaper rate and brought it back into the Chinese market for the selling purpose. This practice is known as Daigou. Although it was extremely common especially for the Chinese way of luxurious spending, once the government put hold on to, it there was no way to break the law. The Chinese government is bent on cracking these lawbreakers down. This created a monopoly in the e-commerce market, so this is good news for the foreign businesses that are looking to compete in China.

You can sell your original products for the price they are worth.

Get Your E-commerce License in China

You need to get your hands on the license at the first chance you can get. It all depends on how fast you get to actively participate and become a legal e-commerce business entity in China.

So if you are sure to advance towards e-commerce in the Chinese market, then you need two things to acquire first;

ICP Beian. It is a standard ICP License for a host website. 

ICP Commercial. The holder of this license will be eligible to accept online payments. Usually, it is meant for online stores selling goods and services. Online marketplaces like Taobao, Alibaba, and others were inclined to get the license for their websites and online shopping carts. Even the Chinese version of Amazon, JD.com, asked their merchants to provide the ICP Commercial license.

Protect the Ip (Intellectual Property)

Brand-stealing is a rear house of terror for e-commerce businesses. It’s easy to copy the products, which is why it’s been a huge problem for the Chinese government. New legal actions had kept this issue in the highlight, which paved a road for success for foreign companies like Lego to experience a new Chinese market.

This also brings forth another perspective: brand consciousness. Chinese consumers do not easily trust a foreign brand, so if a company replicates an existing product, then chances are your brand quality will be compromised.

License Requirements

The Chinese government has taken measures to protect the IP. So the companies that fail to protect their IPs are penalized by the government.

Another crucial step is obtaining an official business license to conduct the e-commerce business. As mentioned above, the license requirement is compulsory which means all foreign companies must obtain it. The only way to acquire a Chinese business license is by “setting up a Wholly Foreign Owned Entity (WFOE)”. It means the company will come under the banner as a Chinese registered company owned by foreign investors.

These days, the most common type of WFOE are;

  • Trading
  • Consulting
  • Manufacturing

Protect the E-commerce Business

The first step is already covered, i.e., protecting the IP. Once a company obtains a Chinese business license, they need to have a registered trademark as well. This extra measure was taken by the government to provide safeguards to the companies with a registered trademark in China.

In case a foreign company fails to register its trademark before its competitors, they have to purchase it at more than par value from the opportunists. Several new entrepreneurs had to face this dilemma, so to avoid this scenario make an advance entry for the trademark.

Don’t Forget Branding

Brand logo, brand name, and the product itself are the key selling points. When you are building your e-commerce business empire, remember that brand loyalty means a lot to the consumer. So when you decide for a name, make sure it is easy to remember, have an appealing logo according to your target market.

But in case if you are just expanding the already established business in China, you can improvise with the original name for the target niche. Localizing the contents of e-commerce business like a brand name or even logo grabs the attention of the public.

Be a Unicorn in the Midst of All the Santa Claus!

Marketing methodologies are somewhat the same for every business, the way those tactics are used, and at what precise time creates a difference in the market for the brand. So in a nutshell, prepare a unique selling proposition for the audience, an idea or product, which differentiates you from the rest of e-commerce businesses in China. Gain clarity by asking the right questions and when required do take help from Chinese localization services too to ensure your brand tastes the success.

 

 

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Antonia September 25, 2020 0 Comments

Primary Challenges of Doing Business in China

Starting your business in China has become very easy as compared to decades ago. China has seen remarkable economic growth since its economic reforms in 1978, three decades ago. It is expected that China will soon become the largest economy in the world. The new reforms made by the Chinese government have open new opportunities in the field of industrial innovation and business growth, but still doing business in China is not a piece of cake.
Let’s have a look at the primary challenges of doing business in China.

Cultural Nuances

China is emerging as a market leader in the global business world. Its people are known for their hard work and habit of self-reliance. China portrays its political, traditional, and business values very uniquely. If you are unable to understand the cultural nuances before starting the business in China then, it will lead to miscommunication and the miscommunication is the biggest challenge that foreign investors and companies face in China. No doubt, the number of Chinese people who understand and speak the English language is increasing, but it is very difficult to find such people that understand the nuances of the culture and language of both native and target language and understand the meaning of business negotiations. Miscommunication may result in breaking your business deal. The solution to this challenge is to hire a professional translation partner that can provide you with impeccable translation services so you understand the Chinese and Western cultural differences well and devise your business strategy accordingly.

Challenges regarding Rules and Regulations

To get legal permission to start a business requires very lengthy administrative procedures. It is a big challenge in China. Lots of businesses need to acquire the standard business license that contains the scope of business and it is issued by municipal administrations of Industry and Commerce and other legal authorities. For instance, if you want to start a health firm in China, you need to obtain a business license from the municipal administrations of Industry and Commerce. Besides, you also have to get a permit from the Food and Drug Administration. Although the Chinese government is making many efforts to make China a user-friendly environment for investors and businessmen, the traditional bureaucracy and red tape are the main problems for the businessman to execute their business plans in China. In addition to this, vivid rules and regulations with no understanding and no transparency create a challenge for foreign investors and businessmen to compete. Many global marketers also face the problem of easy market access because of stringent quality checks on imported goods.

Challenges Regarding Logistics

Although the government has improved the logistics environment in China, still the cost of shipping is expensive. The logistics of China is considered very uneven, and it affects the handling of the product in and product out. During a certain period during the day, the entrance of large trucks is prohibited so product shipments are transferred to small vehicles so that they can reach the consumer markets on time. Logistics hamper the supply chain. Furthermore, warehouses, shipping yards, cargo hubs, and distribution centers are not automated, which creates a problem for the foreign businessman to deliver their products well on time in the mass market. Logistics and supply chain hampers product access to potential customers, and they are the biggest challenge.

Intellectual Property

China is known for providing cheap and counterfeit products across the globe. 80 percent of the cheap and counterfeit products in the world come from China. The foreign investors face a great challenge of enforcing intellectual rights in China because of local judicial protectionism and biases towards foreign investors and businessmen. China has tried very hard to implement laws and regulations regarding IPR, but weak governance has mitigated the IRR system in China.

Sales and Distribution Challenge

Your business can only be successful if you can provide products to customers on time. This can only happen if you know the right distribution channels and how to manage them. There is a fight between western brands and Chinese distributors. Many global brands have been abused by their distributors. Chinese brands have a history of providing fake and copied products, so other western brands are more profitable with better margins. This needs to be discussed with Chinese distributors due to linguistic and cultural barriers. So foreign investors or businessmen should hire a reliable translation partner who can help them understand the laws and regulations regarding distribution and sales. Local partners will help you in this regard. Chinese and global brands are required to develop a strong relationship with distributors.

Increase Competition in Chinese Market

The market in China is very competitive. The competition is not only among foreign brands but also with national champions who want to compete with global brands. Furthermore, the Chinese government wants to invest in economic activities because of the US-China Trade war. Many global companies come to China and many local companies take advantage of high purchasing power. This makes the competition fiercer and makes it very hard for the foreign businessman to retain its customers.

Wrapping Up

Do you want to start your business in China? To make your business journey easy and successful, you need to know the basic challenges of doing business in China. For that, you need to understand the Chinese culture and language. Worry not, Chinese Translation Services is here for you. We provide you with impeccable Localization Services in fast turnaround time and economical rates. Contact us for more details.

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Antonia September 23, 2020 0 Comments