10 Unique Chinese Customs

They say it’s unwise to judge a book by its cover. Yet this is exactly what many people do when they look at Chinese people. Being the forerunner of economic and technological revolution, China is home to diverse cultures and traditions, with an ancient history admired by the rest of the world. While other countries evolved through time and absorbed different cultures through the ages, China was able to maintain its own identity. Not surprisingly, Chinese people appear very different to foreigners owing to their unique customs and traditions. If you own a business and aim to enter the Chinese market, chances are you will need to have a knowledge of some of the unique Chinese customs along with having the support of a reliable and professional agency delivering Chinese translation services for an easy transition into this economic and technological giant.

Here are 10 very unique Chinese customs which are found to be different from other countries:

1. Bowing as a Traditional Gesture

One of the gestures deemed unique and different from the rest of the world is bowing. To show respect to someone, Chinese people bow gently as a form of greeting. This traditional gesture is unique in itself as you may not see it in western countries. While the people in western states prefer shaking of hands, Chinese use this gesture in business and formal meetings. However, it is interesting to note that clapping in China depicts driving away demonic spirits instead as a gesture of appreciation or happiness, unlike the rest of the world.

2. Colors Reflect Symbols

In China every color has a traditional meaning for instance black color depicts evil and darkness and is most commonly used by prisoners. White color is used to depict grief, sadness and funerals. Red color brings good luck and power and is therefore considered most conspicuous color in China. It also represents fire.

3. Chinese Tea is a National Beverage

In China, when you are with friends and families, Chinese tea is the thing for you. Many traditional tea houses have been built where you can have infinite supply of tea in your tea cups. The common practice is ensuring all teacups are filled and don’t go empty. Termed as ‘tea-tapping’, this tradition involves visitors tapping the tables as a form of showing gratitude. In fact, it is a custom to never let a teacup go empty.

Tea is the national hot drink of China. In fact, the social status of a person is judged by the way and the type of tea he drinks. As a form of greeting visitors and securing business transactions, it is common to sit down for a tea with the guests.

4. Chop, Chop, Chopsticks!

The placement of chopsticks might be a gesture that is paid little attention by you, but in China, this placement is everything. It is considered bad luck to stick your chopsticks straight upwards after a meal as it depicts an offering to the dead. Moreover, it is highly discouraged to place your chopsticks vertically as it represents the incense used in funerals. Similarly, crossing the chopsticks is also disliked due to superstitious beliefs about offering to the dead. You can put your chopsticks next to your bowl, on your bowl or on the chopsticks rest. It will show that you have finished your meal.

5. Burping is Considered Sign of Gratitude

Ever burped in public and got embarrassed? We have all been there—but in China burping and farting after a meal is a common thing. According to Chinese doctors and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is unhealthy to keep something in your body that wants to get out. In order to show gratitude to host and chefs, Chinese people start burping on the table which is considered to be a sign of satisfaction and gratefulness.

6. A Likeness for Foreigners

Chinese people love foreigners. Their curiosity about visitors from other countries lead them to take photos of these people. Interestingly, you will feel like a celebrity in China as they will keep on asking you to take photos with them. A lot of Chinese families will take your snaps without asking you. This is harmless so don’t forget to enjoy it. However, as most of the Chinese have black hair, foreigners having different colored hair are considered traditionally demonic to them. For example, Dutch people are associated with Buddhist demons owing to their red and orange hair—not a welcome thought if you are a Dutch wanting to take your business to China. You will still need to have the support of a reliable agency for delivering you the best Chinese translation services, though.

7. Eating Strange Foods and Drinking Hot Water

China is famous for its strange meals. In China, the best meal is a carefully balanced mixture of flavor, texture, color and food types. Chinese choose their meals differently—the stranger the animal the costly it gets. This is why it is a tradition to have frog lung, parts of pig, fish eyes, and stomach of a cow, chicken feet and hundred-year old eggs for meal. In fact these are labeled as special foods of China.

It is said that you must eat dumplings in winters otherwise the cold will tear off your ears. This is the reason Chinese throng to markets in winters to eat dumplings every year. Moreover, Chinese people prefer drinking burning hot water as they believe it prevents them from ailments and diseases. Also, it is considered impolite if you don’t drink your wine during business meetings as Chinese businessmen love white wine (known as baiju).

8. Giving Gifts, Refusing gifts and Gifts in Return

When it comes to gifts, who doesn’t like them? Chinese people love to give gifts in house parties and don’t open them until the guests are gone. However, they normally refuse gifts two to three times before accepting them. One must be careful in giving gifts too—a pear is a sign of divorce and separation and should not be gifted. Similarly, gifting umbrella and fans is said to bring bad luck while gifting a clock depicts counting down life span. Birthday gifts are wrapped in red paper or sheet as red symbolizes good luck and wine, cigarettes and sweets are considered ideal gifts on occasions.

9. Face Tattoos and Face Kini (face-mask)

Face is everything in China. Whether it’s a business meeting or an informal one, Chinese people focus on the face. This is why in China face represents social standing, honor and respect. The Chinese believe that these features of the face depict the true personality of a person, along with representation of his entire family. The pale complexion is desired by Chinese people so in 2004, face kinis (face masks) were introduced for the protection of face from jelly fish and sun light tanning on the beaches. Other Chinese go for face paintings and tattoos as they believe it will bring honor to their kin.

10. Spitting Loudly in Public is Common

However disgusting it may seem, spitting is not considered offensive in China. Chinese believe spitting will keep them safe from demons. Although the majority of the Chinese now deem this act unhygienic, many of them still don’t find it offensive to spit in public places.

The Last Word

China is at the forefront of all economic and technological revolutions, and Chinese people are believed to be the best negotiators in the world. Nevertheless, some of the traditions and customs followed by these Chinese may be peculiar and odd for the rest of the world, but are still in practice today. This is why a business seeking to expand in China need to have a thorough knowledge of these Chinese customs and traditions, along with having the support of a reliable Chinese translation service agency for a seamless and effortless transition into the market.

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Antonia May 6, 2020 0 Comments

Impact of Covid-19 on Chinese Businesses

Few of the diseases that affect mankind are dangerous. Even fewer of these diseases take the shape of global pandemics that shake the foundations of communities and cities. COVID-19 is one such virus.

COVID-19, more commonly known as corona virus is a disease that has been labelled as a ‘global pandemic’ by World Health Organization. Having been the cause of death of more than 100,000 people globally and affecting thousands more, COVID-19 has not just brought many countries to the brink of healthcare emergency, but has also caused havoc in all fields of business—be it healthcare, social, manufacturing, retail or services.

COVID-19 and Chinese Businesses—the Figures

At the time of writing this article, China is rebounding from the huge business losses incurred by the corona virus. Even though January and February saw the worst of the pandemic, with thousands dead, China is slowly trudging its way back as April comes to an end.

But what was the picture when corona virus actually struck?

COVID-19 emerged in late December 2019, quickly becoming the deadly virus that engulfed the Chinese city of Wuhan. As the virus struck, the holiday for Chinese Lunar New Year were extended for a week in order to limit the spread of the virus. As the concept of “social distancing” took hold, Chinese businesses were forced to shut down their operations, curtailing productions and laying off workers. This business shutdowns were not only limited to one sector, but affected all sectors equally.

Perhaps the greatest impact was visible on the manufacturing sector where the Purchasing Manager’s Index (China’s official measure of manufacturing activity) fell from a high of 50 to only 37.5 in January. This PMI is a measure of the country’s economic health and has a huge impact on China’s trade and business with other countries. Not surprisingly, this drop in PMI had a ripple effect on other countries’ export-import with China.

The virus’s impact on Chinese businesses can be gauged by the figures which state that approximately 429,000 businesses had either dissolved or had to suspend operations. Wholesale and retail business was the hardest-hit sector, where approximately 38% of the operations were dissolved. This was followed by leasing business and manufacturing sector where about 15% and 8% of operations were dissolved, respectively.

China’s service sector was also hit by the virus, whereas a large number of service firms closed down their business operations, incurring huge losses amid the shutdowns. Moreover, with the shutdowns came the fear of mass bankruptcies that economists were sure would eventually be the case. Considering the business losses in January and February, this was highly likely but China is now making its way back to normal times, with many businesses resuming their operations. The services sector includes small and medium-sized retailers such as restaurants, malls and movie theaters. As travel restrictions were also imposed on the people, they were forced to remain indoors—hence the business losses.

China’s Businesses—the Road to Recovery

Only after 6 weeks of the virus attack, China is back to recovery. Many of the businesses are back to work with factories operating at 60-70% of their operating capacity. Although the dropping PMI figures suggest that companies are facing an acute shortage of workers, this condition is further exacerbated due to the dependency on migrant workforce as China has about 300 million migrant workers.

COVID-19 inflicted more harm than was expected in China. Being the second largest economy of the world, China had to face huge losses when social distancing took over, disrupting normal life and dropping the stock market index. Even now, only about 30% of the small and medium-sized businesses are back to work. These cuts have a huge impact on the global supply chain as many of the businesses are returning to normal operations.

Still, the road to China’s recovery from the effects of the coronavirus is a bumpy one. Although many of the businesses are back to work, some of them need the backup of workforce to stay aboard. With the large number of migrant workers being laid off, chances are it would take time for China’s businesses to rebound from the impact of the virus. Currently, China appears to be in the early stage of an economic rebound but this situation still pose a significant risk owing to the danger of virus striking again.

All is not lost in the business world of China though. Some of the companies had sensed the effects of the virus, and had taken steps to deal with the situation. For example, Master Kong, the leading instant noodles and beverage producer had anticipated the economic slump that the virus would bring, which is why it shifted its selling efforts away from offline and large retail channels to online and E-commerce channels.

By thinking proactively, it was able to control huge losses, stock-outs and hoardings that followed the outbreak. Additionally, by continuously tracking the retail channels’ re-opening plans, it was saved from the disruptions in supply chain. Perhaps this is the reason that Master Kong was able to recover its supply chain by more than 50% in late February as compared to other businesses who had relied on retail channels for their operations.

The Last Word

COVID-19 proved to be more than just a virus. It halted operations, supply chains, productions and commercial activities by huge margins, incurring a chain of events that eventually led to business losses and stock market collapses—not just in China but worldwide. Now as the world recovers slowly from the shock of the virus, businesses are slowly moving back to their normal operations but it might take a whole year for them to regain their previous positions.

To deal with the current situation, businesses need to shift their focus away from the retail channels and strengthen their E-commerce and online channels. This will not only be helpful in recovering from the losses, it would also contribute to strengthening the collapsed supply chains globally and domestically.

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Antonia April 21, 2020 0 Comments

Impact of Covid-19 on Chinese Economy

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 has been the most unpredictable game-changer of 2020. Starting at the end of 2019, this novel coronavirus quickly snowballed into a pandemic situation that has engulfed over half of the world and has claimed over 100,000 lives, affecting millions more.

Although coronavirus’s epicenter was China’s city Wuhan, the effects that it created rippled across the entire world. January and February saw the worst side of the pandemic in China, with countrywide lockdowns, business shutdowns and trade restrictions. In March, as coronavirus loosens its grip on China, the economic impact of the crisis has made itself known clearly and loudly.

Covid-19 and the Chinese Economy—the Impact

Coronavirus outbreak started at the end of 2019, but its impact was strongly felt in the first two months of 2020. The virus brought devastating impacts on the global economy, but it affected China’s economy first, disrupting its gross domestic product and industrial output.

Some analysts liken the impacts of coronavirus with those of the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2008—even more so. The pandemic cut China’s growth by half during the first quarter. Industrial output fell by 13.5% during January. This was a worse-than-expected figure, compared to last year’s first quarter. 2019’s first quarter had seen a huge decline in the industrial output but 2020’s figures outnumbered that decline.

Fixed asset investment also dropped by 24.5% on year-on-year estimates. The economic analysts had predicted a slowdown of 2.8% in fixed asset investment. The real numbers outnumbered the predicted estimates by a large margin.

As the industries of China took the impact of the pandemic, investments in the private sector declined sharply by 26.4% and retail sales plunged by 20.5%. As a result, a large population lost their livelihood, and the rate of jobless people increased by a huge 6.2% in February.

Perhaps the greatest effect that the COVID-19 had was on the Chinese GDP. According to Capital Economics, during the first two months, the GDP contracted by 13%. This fall in GDP resulted in overall disruption of the Chinese economy, leading to business shutdowns and losses. These businesses, ranging from retail to manufacturing and service sector were badly affected, and its impact was felt in the international market.

According to National Bureau of Statistics, the impact from coronavirus epidemic is ‘controllable’ and short-term. It is hopeful that the authorities in China would implement policies aimed at improving the economic conditions and indicators post-COVID-19 period, but other analysts do not share this view.

Prior to the worsening of coronavirus outbreak in China, the analysts had assumed rapid recovery for the Chinese economy, similar to the case of SARS outbreak in 2003-2004. However, the outbreak worsened rapidly after January, just as the businesses were getting ready to close down, owing to Chinese New Lunar Year. With the New Year celebrations just around the corner, the pandemic situation worsened in China, forcing businesses to close their shops for an interminable period. Additionally, transport and trade restrictions further dampened the economy, delaying the re-opening of businesses for weeks.

The delay in re-opening of businesses brought with itself a host of other problems—layoffs and low production. Europe and United States, which relied on Chinese-made components and parts were faced with acute shortages, resulting in an overall disruption of the global supply chain.

The global supply chain was already under strain due to high costs—after coronavirus struck China, the supply chain buckled under the weight of low productions and high costs. China’s exports plummeted by 17.2% in the first two months of this year, with demand rapidly slumping—leading to deflation.

The fall in China’s GDP is indicative of just one thing—economic contraction. As businesses across China shut down and closed their doors, the production of goods declined sharply. Combined with the huge number of layoffs, this slowdown in production affected trade of China with other countries, bringing the total exports down.

What’s Next for Chinese Economy?

While it is true that China was at the epicenter of the worst pandemic to hit in the current decade, the road to future recovery is a bumpy one. Although businesses are back to work in China, the underlying problem still persists. The countrywide lockdown has affected more than just the citizens. It has affected consumer demands and hurt business sentiments to the point where it is not possible to recover easily. Due to ‘social distancing’ measures (in place to restrict the spread of the virus), the people residing in villages are finding it hard to return back to cities for work. That would directly affect the business production of China’s industries.

After the coronavirus disrupted life in China, it moved to other countries, affecting the global economic situation. Although analysts in China are positive that it would emerge more quickly than the other countries from coronavirus, the road to recovery of China’s GDP is still a long one. This is because the slowdowns of other economies is bound to create a ripple effect that will strike China back again—not to mention the global recession and trade disruptions.

Back to the Future

The future for Chinese economy is not a weak one. Although the country is still recovering from the huge shocks of COVID-19, analysts are positive that China will rebound to its previous GDP and trade activities. With businesses seeking ways to recover their losses, many of them are coming to the conclusion that reliance on a single market (export, retail or manufacturing market) is unsustainable in recent times. Companies need to diversify their business and product lines as a means to recover the losses and high costs.

The recovery is likely to be quite weak, given the hike in Chinese unemployment. This unemployment is a sure precursor of depressed consumer spending, which in turn will affect the demand and supply cycle. Moreover, the global spread of the virus will certainly affect the export-import cycle, even if factories return to normal work. However, the future is not bleak for the Chinese economy, although it might take more than a year for things to return back to normal.

Things are going to get better with time and when they do, you can reach out to us for fast and reliable Chinese translation services to enter the second-biggest market of the world. Contact us now and get a free quote!

 

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Antonia April 19, 2020 0 Comments

Exploring the Linguistic Diversity in China

China, known as the largest populated country in the world, seems to be leading in every major manufacturing industry. It is said that China is shaping a new face for the industries and soon plans to become the leading country in the world.

With more than 56 ethnic groups in China, the diverse culture brings together a level of peace, harmony and major collaboration of not only traditions but languages as well.

What’s the Total Count of Languages in China?

China is quite popular for its vibrant traditions, cultures, festivals, and norms. Another distinguishing factor is its language.

                                 Did You Know: UN celebrates Chinese Language Day on April 20th?

Chinese is honored as the world’s oldest language. Back in the day, Chinese characters were written on bones, clay and turtle shells.

Chinese is the official language of China, and the majority population speaks standard Chinese but it’s not the only language as per se. More than one Chinese dialect is spoken so it suffices to say each ethnic group represents their unique dialect. As of today, around 302 languages are being spoken in China, 276 of which are indigenous.

Due to political reasons, various Chinese dialects are in use in each region. Contrary to popular belief, Mandarin is just one of the dialects that happen to be more popular than the others. Similarly, other languages around the world vary in dialects like Portuguese in Brazil and Europe or Spanish in Spain.

Spoken by 1.3 billion people, the Chinese language is based on one of the world’s largest language families. With a large number of dialects being spoken around, Pǔtōnghuà is the official language since the early 1900s.

Keeping the Official Verdict in Mind:

The more China involves in overseas trades, the prospects of foreign business increases. Despite other dialects, Mandarin is the official dialect that is taught in schools and all aspects of life are highly dependent on this language.

As mentioned above, dialects vary in each region so according to the national policy, a native (or any business party) should be able to understand and speak the regional dialect.

Let’s take a Peek at the Chinese languages and Unique Dialects

To make it easy to understand, traditionally there are 7-10 groups of Chinese languages out of which mandarin is the largest one. Surprisingly some dialects are not well versed due to geographical isolation, which makes it hard to keep up with the language.

The Chinese language is an effort of its own; symbols are complex andx hard to understand as it is based on a pictogram. Now let’s take a look at some of the basic dialects for a better understanding;

1. Mandarin

The official language is known as Pǔtōnghuà or Northern Chinese. Spoken as the first language by the majority population of China, it has 1.082 billion speakers. Traditionally mandarin is subcategorized in four divisions;

Northern Mandarin – spoken in northeast provinces such as Manchuria, northern China and Beijing, the capital.

Northwestern Mandarin – spoken widely in Baoji and northwest provinces (Ningxia, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Shaanxi, and Gansu).

Southwestern Mandarin – spoken in southwest China and other parts such as Yunnan.

Southern Mandarin – is well known in Nanjing, Guangdong, and Hainan.

According to these divisions, mandarin is based on four tones, level, rising, high rising and falling, with major differences in vowels and syllables.

2. Wu

Also known as Wúyuèyǔ, Goetian, and Changzhou, this dialect is spoken on the coastal areas in Shanghai.

As a second rank, it is spoken by 81.4 million speakers around the world, and besides, in other provinces such as Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, etc. According to historical facts, it gained popularity during Ming Dynasty’s rule and as Wu became a metropolitan area for the merchants. Since then, Wu dialect has preserved its historical eight tones but evolved with time.

The vowels and consonants are the same with a litter variation over time.

3. Yue

You may be familiar with the other name for Yue, as Cantonese. Widely spoken in provinces of Guangdong, Hunan, and Hainan, it also widely spoken in other parts of the world like;

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Macao
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Suriname
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Similar to the Wu dialect, Cantonese is a well-preserved language since ancient times. With six tones and a few initial consonants, there are distinct syllables. It’s because of the merchants and Chinese immigrants overseas.

Currently, there are 62 million speakers of Yue in China, and therefore much widely known after Mandarin.

4. Xiang

Another dominant Chinese dialect in southern China is Xiang.  Mandarin has a major impact on this dialect as the majority of neighboring territories speaks the official dialect, which explains the similarities in both dialects.

For a better understanding, Xiang is further divided into two categories;

  • New Xiang
  • Old Xiang

The evolved version is spoken in Hunan’s capital, Changsha while the old version is predominant in Shuangfeng and other smaller areas in Hunan. With ancient roots, Old Xiang is similar to the Wu language. Five tones and initial consonants are in use even now.

5. Min

Min is primarily spoken in Fujian and other parts of Taiwan, Hainan, Zhejiang, and Guangdong. It comes with a slightly varying pronunciation style known as Tang Min –a literary combination of grammar and vocabulary; it is divided into 5 variants;

  • Min Nan (50.5 million speakers)
  • Min Dong (10.3 million speakers)
  • Min Bei (11 million speakers)
  • Pu-Xian (92.6 million speakers)
  • Min Zhong (3.5 million speakers)

Without any proper resources, it was difficult to find the original characters (from the historical point of view) but based on some minute findings it showed some similarities to mandarin characters and extinct Roman characters.

6. Hakka

Mostly spoken in geographically isolated regions, it emphasizes its uniqueness from 13 sub-dialects, and each one is different!

With an estimated total of 48.5 million speakers worldwide, there are 43.5 million speakers in China. Despite the isolation factor, it is commonly practiced in the highly concentrated areas of Guangdong in the east, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hainan, Guangxi and Fujian in the south.

Similar to Cantonese, this dialect has 6 tones and shows resemblance with Gan and other minor dialects as well.

Besides China, it maps the areas of Brunei, Cambodia, hon gong, Taiwan, French guinea, Polynesia, Suriname, Singapore, and other neighboring countries. The immigration of natives to these areas became the source of the language in other countries.

Bottom Line

Considering the linguistic diversity in China, it becomes challenging to localize your brand for Chinese market. In the business world, it is imperative to understand a native language, especially if you are concerned to expand business overseas. Not only it requires a complete understanding, but you will be requiring Chinese translation services as well to localize the brand’s image.  Make sure you take professional assistance to get your brand localized as per the native language of the target audience.

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Antonia April 19, 2020 0 Comments

Differences Between Mandarin and Cantonese

Did you know the Mandarin Chinese is one of the languages declared official by the United Nations? And there is a good reason for that. Mandarin Chinese is so widely spoken that one in every five people speaks this language in the world.

Mandarin Chinese may be one of the dialects of Chinese language but it is a hugely popular and widely spoken language. The Chinese language itself cannot be termed as a single language—it is a group of languages and boasts of a wide population of speakers worldwide. The most commonly spoken Chinese dialects are Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese.

In fact, the total number of Chinese speakers in the world constitute about 16% of the total world population—a staggering figure.

Termed as one of the emerging languages of the future, the Chinese language should surely be on top of the list of languages to learn—but for that you will need the services of a reliable translation partner that can deliver professional Chinese translation services for a hassle-free learning experience.

The two most widely spoken dialects of the Chinese language—Cantonese and Mandarin have significant differences but are both widely spoken and belong to the same Sino-Tibetan family of languages.

    Differences in Numbers

The most significant difference between Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese lie in the number of speakers. The Mandarin language, commonly known as Putonghua is spoken by 1.1 billion people worldwide. This is a huge number, considering that the descendants of Chinese language mainly originated from Guangdong province, from where Cantonese has its roots, not Mandarin. On the other hand, Cantonese (known as Yue) is spoken by only 84 million people worldwide.

The numbers for China highlight this difference even more.

Mandarin is spoken by 907 million people, making up a huge chunk of the total population—67%. In contrast, Cantonese is spoken by only 5% of the total population, or 73 million people. The rest of the Chinese people speak other dialects of Chinese language.

    Differences in Areas They Are Spoken

Mandarin is the official language or the lingua franca of China. Being the local dialect of bigger cities and metropolis areas of China, Mandarin is spoken in most parts of northern and central China, including the capital, Beijing. Other than China, Mandarin is spoken locally in Taiwan and Singapore, although other Chinese dialects are also commonly spoken in these regions.

Cantonese is the local dialect of southeast China. Originating mainly from the Guangdong province, Cantonese is also spoken in the southern provinces. Other than China, Cantonese is commonly spoken in Macau and Hong Kong.

    Differences in the Characters

Mandarin and Cantonese may have the same roots in ancient Chinese, but it is difficult for a person speaking Mandarin to understand Cantonese writing characters. This is because Mandarin uses simplified characters in contrast to Cantonese that uses traditional characters. These ‘traditional’ Cantonese characters are built on more character strokes than those of simplified Mandarin characters.

A person fluent in reading traditional characters will easily be able to read simplified characters. But a person who can only read simplified characters will have a hard time understanding and comprehending traditional characters. If you belong to the latter group, you need to have the support of a reliable translation partner for a comprehensive Chinese translation service so that you can learn Chinese better.

    Differences in the Tones

One other major difference between Mandarin and Cantonese lie in their tones. Mandarin, being a ‘simplified’ version of Chinese has 5 tones, one of which is a ‘neutral’ tone. On the other hand, Cantonese has a total of 9 tones, of which 3 are ‘entering tones’. These tones are a vital part of the way you communicate, making Cantonese more difficult than Mandarin in terms of tones and speaking.

    Differences in Level of Difficulty

Although Mandarin and Cantonese both are tonal languages (where different tones convey different meanings for the same sound), the different number of tones and characters makes Cantonese more difficult than Mandarin. This is because Cantonese does not only uses tones, but also relies on ‘pitch’ to convey that tone—unlike Mandarin, that relies only on tones to convey the meaning. Likewise, Cantonese is tougher to write than Mandarin, hence the level of difficulty for Cantonese is high.

    Differences in Grammatical Structures

Like the characters and tones, Cantonese and Mandarin have different grammatical structures as well. Interestingly, Cantonese is simpler to understand for a non-native speaker. This is because the grammatical structure of Cantonese is simpler, easier, and follows a fixed pattern. On the other hand, Mandarin, depending on the subject, changes the structure of the sentence often—making it difficult.

However, idiomatic expressions in Cantonese are more difficult than that of Mandarin, which follows an easier idiomatic approach.

    Differences in Usefulness

If you view the two dialects of Chinese—Mandarin and Cantonese from the perspective of usefulness, you will notice that Cantonese language is lagging behind Mandarin in terms of both popularity and regions it is spoken. Although Cantonese was the language spoken by the descendants of a majority of Chinese who immigrated to other countries, Mandarin has seemed to take hold of these communities now. In fact, Mandarin has become the language of teaching, business and trade in many countries, including Hong Kong and Taiwan. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that if you know Mandarin in China, you can communicate with many of the locals there, but if you know Cantonese, this communication might not be so easy.

The Last Word

China, with its billion-dollar economy and technological revolutions is fast making its name in the most developed nations of the world. It comes as no surprise to anyone that Chinese language is fast becoming the most popular language of the future—and so are its dialects. Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese may be two different dialects of the Chinese language, but apart from the differences, both are the languages you can use to communicate with the local people of developed countries. Remember—irrespective of which of the two languages you learn, you need to have the right learning tools, and a reliable translation agency is one of these tools, for delivering precise Chinese translation service.

 

 

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Antonia April 6, 2020 0 Comments

8 Business Opportunities in China

China, one of the commercial and business giants is a hotbed of opportunities. From a business standpoint, China offers an immense potential, with its 1.4 billion population and a leading position in cutting-edge technology and innovation. If you are a company seeking to expand into China and take advantage of the many opportunities this superpower has to offer, you need to have a thorough background research as well as the support of a reliable translation partner for delivering Chinese translation services. Here are some of the business opportunities that can be used to propel your business growth in China:

Supplementary Education and English Language Teaching

China, being one of the most populated areas also boasts of the largest education systems in the world. In fact, investment in education accounts for approximately 4% of the total GDP in China. This makes China an ideal location to start for supplementary and online education classes. Apart from the online education, the provision of English language classes is also one of the opportunities companies or individuals across the globe can cash on. Many of the people in China are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to learning English language—all the more reason to set up an online business to teach in English language.

Healthcare Products and Services

The Chinese healthcare market is an ideal place for business growth and with the changing health dynamics globally, this healthcare market is growing every day. Perhaps this growth in China is also fueled by the population boom in this country—which ultimately leads to high demand. This is why a pharmaceutical or healthcare company can grow as well as expect exponential growth in this region. Although a pharmaceutical company will have to go through the rigors of obtaining a license as well as hiring a translation agency for quality Chinese translation services, the returns are likely to be much higher than setting up pharmacies in developing countries.

E-commerce and Online Retail Business

The E-commerce sector is one other avenue for growth in China as this region boasts of one of the largest E-commerce and online retail market. With a huge internet penetration rate and a population willing to shop online, the E-commerce business is set to take a huge leap in the future as well. According to some statistics, in 2018, the annual value of Chinese E-commerce totaled USD 1.33 trillion and is forecasted to surpass the combined E-commerce markets of United States, Germany, Japan, Britain and France. As internet connections and usage increases along with a greater use of smartphone, the Chinese customer is willing to spend extra bucks on online shopping. If you are a business with a presence in online retail sector, you have a huge chance of growth in this part of the world as China is also seeking to strengthen its stronghold in the digital market.

Clothing and Fashion Apparel Brands

As the world progresses towards changing fashion and apparel trends, the Chinese market is witnessing a boom in this sector as well. According to statistics, China’s adult garment market accounted for approximately 1457.8 billion RMB in 2017—an indication of the expected growth this sector is likely to see in the future. Moreover, as the internet penetration rates increase and more brands join the online mainstream, the demand for fashion apparel is also increasing. The growth opportunities that this sector presents are huge—as is the Chinese population willing to spend on online apparels and clothing. If you own an apparel business outside of China, you will be surprised how much revenue you are likely to get by marketing your products in this part of the world—all you need is a marketing strategy and a backup of a reliable agency delivering quality translation services to make it big.

Infrastructure Development

As with all other regions of the world, urbanization is increasing in China as well. With the shifting demographics and more people shifting to big cities, the infrastructure development presents a host of opportunities for companies across the globe. A more urbanized China means a significant impact on environment, which is why companies can take advantage of the increased inclination towards environmental conservation and infrastructure development the “green” way, through construction of buildings and infrastructure. A company having expertise in urban development and infrastructure management, therefore, is likely to have a bright future in China.

Financial Services and Investments

The financial and investment industry is one of the fastest growing industries of the world and China is no exception. With a GDP of $13.37 trillion in 2018, China is all set to become the highest revenue-yielding region in the future. This is the reason financial and investment companies stand a huge chance of growth in China. As Chinese incomes rise and standards of living improve, more people are likely to need banking, insurance, financial consultancy services and investment tools—all the more reason for financial companies and banks to invest in China. Companies belonging to investments, securities, insurance and funds management can also take advantage of the favorable investment opportunities in China for setting up businesses here.

Tourism

The tourism industry is another flourishing industry to look for in China. With a large number of inbound tourists coming to China for recreation, the tourism industry holds an immense potential for growth. Perhaps the extent of growth of this industry can be gauged by the fact that in 2018, the total number of inbound tourists arriving in China was 415 million with a growth of 7.6%, breaking the previous year mark of CNY 513.9 billion. This number is likely to grow over the next few years, owing to favorable visa conditions for tourists across the globe. This is why companies delivering recreation activities can easily make a name for themselves in China—all they need is a thorough business research and the support of a reliable agency for Chinese translation services.

Agriculture and Processed Food

Just as digital companies in China are making a mark globally, the agriculture and food businesses are also not far behind. With a sizeable portion of the country involved in agricultural farming, China is predicted to account for 43% of global growth in demand for agricultural products by 2050. The foods that are predicted to be in demand in future are beef, lamb, fruit, dairy and vegetables. The food exporters from across the globe can take advantage of China’s growing demand for quality agricultural products and its growing need for food security. Other than that, companies delivering inputs such as animal feeds also stand a good chance of growth in the upcoming years.

The Last Word

China, considered as the superpower in both digital and technological world holds immense opportunities for firms across the globe for investments and trade. With the right tools in place—business feasibility research, investment, and the support of a translation agency delivering quality Chinese translation services, the day is not far when companies across the globe will have their offices in China as well.

 

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Antonia March 24, 2020 0 Comments

Why the Travel and Tourism Industry Needs Translation

In this fast-paced life, taking leisure time to relax is very important. To get some relief from the daily hectic routine, people plan for a holiday. For planning the holiday they look for a local travel agency and for the more thrilling and adventurous travelling experience they look for travel options on the internet and count on word of mouth recommendations.

With the involvement of technology, anyone can connect to the world, no matter wherever he is. They can check renowned tourism locations and book flights and hotels/hostels online. Moreover, they can also check reviews of people regarding the best dining experience. Knowing that most people prefer searching for travel services online, it is evident that multilingual travel sites have more chances of earning business. 

Why Tourism material needs to be translated

Through the internet,  you can access travel websites at a convenient time. According to the Common Sense Advisory, 2430 web consumers are surveyed in eight countries to know how language affects their buying habits. The results are

  • 72.1% of consumers like to spend time on the website which is in their native language.
  • 72.4% of consumers are persuaded to buy a product and services which are translated in their native language.
  • 56.2% of consumers are of the view that information in their native language is more important than price.

These numbers show that for purchasing anything people go for the website which is in their native language.  When we talk about mobile apps, a study by the impact of App Translations from Distomo revealed that localizing iPhone application text has increased the number of downloads that is 128% per country and 26% increase in company revenue for each country. These statistics show that tourism websites and apps need to be translated to cater to the high demand of the tourism industry.

 Professional Translation for Tourism

The main reason for professional translation for travel business is its influence on SEO. If translators translate your content with specific tourism terminologies then the web surfers will find you in most visited search engines like Google. You just need to make your website more attractive so the visitors are forced to browse. In short, SEO translation will assist your travel business to penetrate a foreign market. It is evident that using professional translation in the tourism industry is very useful and a continuous need. Many multinational companies incline to use automated translation to cater to this continuous need and depend less on human translators. For fast and effective outcomes, you can take professional travel translation services. The professional translation services will assist companies to attract the client and have a clear picture of the experience which they expect. When you hire them to do your translations, these translators will carry out manual translations of your original content. With this, there are fewer chances for information gaps, and the travelers would trust you more. There are many professional translation service providers online and you need to be very careful in hiring the translation company. The other thing with professional translators is that they assist you in selling your business through different translation styles. They apprehend your business objectives. Now the question arises, how useful automated translation is, and whether it is more competent than human translators?

Translation Errors in the travel and tourism industry

Machine translation is not 100% reliable. Human translation, on the other hand, is quite reliable and offers improved impact. There are some reasons which prove that human translation is better than machine translation. The translation provided by human translators is better and more effective because of their attention to detail, knowledge about specific language and integration of cultural nuances of each country. Moreover, their ability to work collectively in a team with other translators saves a lot of time and money. Simply put, it is indeed a safer decision for travel businesses to take professional translation services.

For such companies that really aspire to attract and retain more and more tourists, effective translation is very important. In addition to literal transformation, it is essentially important to maintain a persuasive tone of the travel marketing content like guides, catalogues and brochures, and that’s why you need to get your content translated by industry-specific and experienced translators.

Significance of Professional Translation 

Many potential clients want to have information regarding your policies, service methods and all you have to offer before they hire you. The efficient way to portray is by tailoring your advertising and marketing material like brochures, bulletins, and magazines as per the regional preferences of the target market. Efficient online translation services will help you translate these materials into multiple languages and keep your content engaging and informative. It is better if you get your website translated in multiple languages and update them on your website for different clients to select the language of their choice. 

How to Choose Professional Travel Translation Services

Want to hire a professional language service provider? Looking for a reliable company? Don’t know where to take a start? Let us help!

Here are a few tips to help you choose a suitable translation partner.

  1. A tourism industry should hire such a translation company that is skillful in speaking the customer’s native language and is competent in different key languages too as that can help global expansion. A good translation company helps to stand out in a competitive market and ensure providing state of the art multilingual translation.
  2. The travel translation company should be able to provide reliable consistent and swift translation each time. The company you choose should have proper project management teams so that you can get a seamless translation. 
  3. Look for a service provider that offers no-obligation quote so that you can have a fair estimation of translation charges for your project.
  4. Turnaround time is another worth considering factor. Maks sure you choose a service provider that has the capability to work swiftly and deliver flawlessly translated content in time. 
  5. A travel business should ensure that the translation company which they decided to hire can provide an impeccable translation of an array of marketing and promotional material.

Wrapping Up

The rapid growth of the travel and tourism industry highlights the significance of travel translation services. For becoming a globally known name and grabbing share from multiple international markets, it is essential to make your official website multi-lingual. Translate your website and other marketing content and start your journey to enjoy global fame.

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Antonia February 18, 2020 0 Comments

5 Rising Digital Trends in China

As technology and digital revolutions take over the world, commercial superpowers such as China are undergoing a huge paradigm shift. Although the digital economy in China has seen many challenges and hurdles in the past—trade wars, recessive global economy, online frauds, and economic slowdown, the Chinese digital landscape has survived and prospered through it all, showing a rising trajectory.

In fact, the number of Chinese internet users grew to 854 million in the first half of 2019 with a penetration rate of approximately 61%. This rate is likely to rise in the future—thanks to a prospering e-commerce market, video content popularity and increasing internet usage.

To stay on top of the digital race in China, a company needs to have a thorough knowledge of the digital market as well as the support of a reliable Chinese translation services. Here are a few rising trends likely to affect the digital landscape of China.

1. Social Media will Likely Dominate the Digital Landscape

This is an age of social media and a growing dominance of social media applications has been making its presence felt globally. As China embraces 5G internet technology, social media platforms such as WeChat are using this opportunity to spread its wings. The platform offers multiple functionalities such as e-commerce, chats and online shopping stores. According to estimates, the products sold through social commerce channel WeChat accounted for approximately 1 trillion Yuan in 2019, followed by a newcomer in the industry, Pinduoduo, which transacted approximately US$100 billion.

The opportunity that this social commerce presents for marketers worldwide is to take advantage of the internet penetration in China and rise of social media platforms as a means to advertise their brands. As WeChat is already the dominant platform, companies can use two other players which are relatively new in the market—Xiahongshu and Douyin. Xiahongshu, commonly known as Red is a lifestyle sharing platform and a combination of Pinterest and Instagram, used largely as a product search engine.

It boasts of a huge community of 3 million bloggers which companies can take advantage of by integrating with hotels and recreational spots to develop opportunities and generate awareness. Douyin, on the other hand, known as TikTok, is the fastest growing mobile app in China with 200 million daily active users. Marketers can use these platforms to drive brand awareness by collaborating with social influencers and by translating their content in multiple languages by using the services of a professional Chinese translation services.

2. KOLs will be the New Face of Marketing

As the new age of social media reigns the Chinese digital landscape, the importance of KOLs or Key Opinion Leaders cannot be overlooked. In the rest of the world, these social media influencers are limited to creating brand awareness, but in China, these influencers are used to drive brand value through their whole purchasing funnel.

Most luxury brands in China use younger KOLs to market their brands to Chinese consumers, as these consumers are more likely to relate with the former. Additionally, the KOLs market these brands to their followers (which amount to millions), driving product awareness, sales and purchase decisions. They also help with product launches and event promotions, with many of them represented as brand ambassadors. For instance, in 2019, Neutrogena took advantage of Chinese New Year to launch a range of beauty products. Within a span of only 4 hours, 20,000 items were sold through the social media channels, thanks to the endorsements by KOLs.

The power of these KOLs is expected to rise in the coming future, as the social media usage gains momentum and internet penetration increases in China. As more consumers switch to online purchase, these KOLs can be employed further to increase brand awareness and drive their purchase decisions.

However, when using KOLs to market their products, companies need to be careful—product failures and bad word-of-mouth can not only result in low sales for the company, but would also affect the reputation of KOLs associated with the brand. Nevertheless, KOL marketing is the latest face of marketing in China, and brands can use this opportunity to make their products and services known and appreciated.

3. Short-Video Content and Live-Stream Commerce will Increase in Popularity

While video content has always been an all-time favorite of the Chinese people, it gained significant momentum after 2018, when it became evident that the users preferred short video content over every other video content.

Perhaps the biggest proof of the popularity of these short video content can be gauged from the immense fame that Duoyin (TikTok) has gained. The platform boasts of a gigantic user base of over 500 million users, with an average user spending almost 50 minutes on it daily. Short-video content is more accepted and acknowledged in China due to a number of reasons—fragmented lifestyles of consumers, content richness in short time, and a wide variety of genres to choose from.

Live-stream content is also the preferred mode of reaching the audience in the future. Duoyin already uses live-streaming features, while Xiahongshu is seeking to start its live-stream commerce in 2020. Moreover, brands have also been using WeChat Mini programs for live-stream shopping.

So what exactly does this popularity of short video and live-streaming content mean for brands? The brands using these features need to design these content with the audience preferences in mind—they have to squeeze meaningful content in a bite-sized video.

This means that the content needs to be attractive enough to hold the viewers’ attention, while delivering the brand message clearly and as concisely as possible in a short time. Keeping all this in perspective will not only boost brand image for a company, it will also be a highly lucrative opportunity for them to spread awareness about their products on the go.

4. Adoption of Digital Platforms by Aging Population will Multiply

China, the commercial superpower is also home to one of the largest population in the world. According to demographical statistics, China’s elderly population is likely to exceed 255 million by the end of 2020 and efforts are already in place to bring this elderly population into the digital media folds. In 2018, Alibaba’s Taobao launched a new channel on its platform targeting the senior population of China, with easy-to-use features. In addition to giving them the option to make payments with the platform, it also allowed senior population to link their accounts with those of their children and chat in groups.

The amount of elderly users who are using digital and social platforms has also increased over the past years. Where a few decades back, this internet technology was not even thought of, the present times have shifted the perspective of the elderly to such an extent that they are willing to view and share content online, thanks to the introduction of mobile payments and spread of video content. WeChat, the biggest social platform in China reported an increase of these elderly users from around 8 million to over 50 million in 2017 alone.

Brands are using the power of internet to market their products to these elderly population. Many of them place advertisements on social media apps that are most used by the elderly people. This has now become so popular that marketers have started using the term “silver economy” to market their products and campaigns to the elderly population. Tapping into this Chinese “silver economy” is sure to benefit the brands as these people make up a sizeable part of the huge Chinese population. If you own a company outside China, you need to translate your brand content into Chinese by employing a professional Chinese translation services to be able to target this lucrative segment of the market.

5. Economic Growth in Lower-Tier Cities will Grow Exponentially

With the advent of technology and an ever-shifting digital landscape, China has seen a visible shift in the way its cities has embraced new technology. Due to the massive scale of urbanization and demographical changes, the focus of businesses has shifted from huge metropolises to lower-tier cities.

Although these huge metropolises were the primary areas of growth for China in the past decades, experts are of the opinion that lower-tier cities are more likely to be the drivers of growth in the future. The reason for this is simple—the population of some of these cities has multiplied to such an extent that they are rivalling some of the European countries in population. These lower-tier cities contribute about 59% of China’s total GDP and according to statistics, China’s private consumption is estimated to increase to 9.7 trillion by 2030, with growth mainly coming from these lower-tier cities.

The implications that these lower-tier cities present for marketers is two-fold. Marketers can use e-commerce platforms as a means to market their brands to Chinese consumers in these cities, and social media platforms can further be used to advertise their content. By catching on the opportunity to target these cities, businesses stand a better chance of making profits in the lucrative Chinese market.

The Last Word

China’s digital landscape has seen many ups and downs over the past decades, but some of the trends likely to affect the digital market present marketers and businesses across the world with opportunities. Tapping into the Chinese digital market with the help of a professional Chinese translation services and a thorough research can be an ultimate tool to gain revenue and make a reputable brand image in this huge commercial and technological country.

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Antonia February 11, 2020 0 Comments

Chinese Luxury Market Forecast for 2020

The year 2020 is upon us and has brought with itself a host of opportunities and challenges. Some of the markets and regions are more susceptible to feeling the changes brought by technological and digital revolutions due to the quick rate of adoption and receptive market dynamics. China is among those nations that have seen a huge revolution in the field of technology and digitization and owns a large share in the global market.

Although other segments in China are also embracing the changes the year 2020 is bringing, the luxury market is among the ones that are most likely to take on the challenges the future has to offer.

If you own a luxury brand and want to make a debut in China, you will have to step in after doing your proper research work, and maybe get assistance from a reliable Chinese translation services to help you along.

Here is the luxury market forecast of China for the year 2020:

1. Brands, the Millennials and Culture Sensitivity

The millennial generation is always receptive and more open to changes than other generations, especially in a rapidly-changing market such as China. To say that Chinese consumer has spent well on luxury goods in the past as well would be an understatement. In 2018, Chinese spending represented 33% of the global luxury market compared to only 22% and 18% by American and European consumers, respectively.

This amounts to approximately $115 billion spendingsby Chinese on luxury items and this spending is forecasted to grow to 40% of the world’s spending by 2025. This is why luxury brands in China are more culturally sensitive to changes in the Chinese spending patterns, taking special care to be more relevant when it comes to Chinese consumer’s purchase preferences.

Although the Generation Y in China (born in the 1980s) was the first generation to embrace luxury goods and is the driving force of China’s luxury appetite, the millennial generation (born after 1990s) is the new face of luxury items adoption, as they opinionate that spending on luxury items makes them feel “different”.

This young consumer’s consumption of media and the luxury lifestyle portrayed by this media drives consumption, along with a desire to be seen and “snapped” in the latest luxury wear. Other factors such as social influence and knowledge of brands are also the driving factors that propel this generation to adopt luxury goods, thanks to the advancing social media platforms and creative marketing campaigns practiced by luxury brands.

2. Social Media Engagement and Online Channels

As 2020 brings on a wave of new technology and advancement in digitization, luxury brands across the world are harnessing the power of social media to drive their sales and growth, especially in a lucrative market like China. One of the extremely useful tactics employed by brands is the shift from offline to online retail channels. The E-commerce platforms have reported a significant sales figure in the past and will continue to do so in the future as well.

At the end of 2019, online retail sales increased to $1.5 trillion, representing a quarter of China’s total retail volume. This number is likely to increase with each passing year, owing to the boom in the E-commerce sector and the rise in omnichannel shopping. This type of shopping gives the consumer the choice of both online and offline purchases, enticing them to compare and purchase luxury brands easily than in the past.

The advancement of social media and platforms have opened avenues for companies worldwide to advertise their brands in the Chinese market. Thanks to WeChat, the biggest social media platform in China, the Chinese customer can reap the benefits of multiple functionalities offered by the platform to make purchases. Additionally, social media has allowed the younger generation to compare brands after consultation and recommendations from peers and friends, especially in the case of luxury brands—the awareness about the latest brands in town reaches fast owing to word-of-mouth and digital channels.

3. Rental Fashion, 5G Technology and Digitization

Although young consumers are more careful about their luxury purchases, it was reported in the McKinsey Report on China that many of them are not attached to the brands as compared to Generation Y. This is because these youngsters are willing to compare brands and opt for those luxury items that make them “feel and look good”. This is the reason rental fashion and resale luxury market is likely to grow in the future as well.

One technology that is greatly shaping the Chinese digital landscape is 5G technology. The high internet speed allows for a speedy browsing experience of online stores and luxury items, powered by E-commerce stores and platforms. As the tendency towards online purchases of luxury items grows, so will the need to set up online stores, which is why if an international luxury brand wants to make a mark in the Chinese market, it will have to use the power of 5G services and WeChat platform to drive its sales, along with hiring the services of a professional Chinese translation services to translate its website content in Chinese.

Internet retailing and digitization of brands is the next trend to look out for in 2020, and some of the luxury brands are already riding the waves of technology to market and advertise their luxury brands, powering AI technology to add virtual try-on services in their stores. This artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) both increase the likelihood of consumers making purchases online. In addition, brands are using B2C channels to establish a comprehensive presence across the Chinese market, such as Alibaba’s Tmall and luxury verticals like Secoo, and London-based Net-A-Porter.

Chinese Luxury Market—A Look Ahead

The Chinese market is a receptive market, and when it comes to comparing it to European and American markets, the opportunities that it presents for the luxury brands are lucrative and welcoming. According to the McKinsey Report, forecasted growth of online luxury sales by three times the current market size is predicted, to account for an eighth of China’s 1.2 trillion RMB luxury market by 2025.

China’s young luxury consumers are more inclined towards aspiration and image attached to luxury brands, which is why brands should adopt an ‘updated’ approach, centered on a cycle of refreshed product launches and innovative media campaigns. The keywords for luxury brands in the future are “newness” and “exclusivity”—propelled and fostered through the launch of limited editions, brand endorsements, and collaborations with social media influencers.

Reaching the young consumers also requires a careful approach towards E-commerce channels and online stores, powered by 5G internet technology and digital promotions. As the future approaches, luxury brands can look forward to capturing the young Chinese consumer’s attention by going digitally-savvy and by seamlessly integrating business units across regions, as well as online.

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Antonia February 11, 2020 0 Comments

5 Effective Tools that Can Boost Your Brand Image in China

What Makes You a Good Marketer?

What Makes You a Great Marketer?

Feel the Difference?

There is a whole generation gap between the two questions. What will make your brand stand out is the trigger to create a strong brand image? Each country has a distinct outreach for market and targeting consumers but what makes you stand out in the market is your practice and self-driven goals that will skyrocket your business to the top.

When you think of approaching a foreign market, be as native as possible. Well, you do not want to feel it like a wild goose chase so to make an approach worth the effort there are certain ways to ensure a safe passage into a market. In China, consumer behavior is far different as compared to the US or UK. People prefer to move towards the local products and services instead of reaching offshores.

Why Become the Flower of Attraction for the Bees?

What is your ultimate score? To be able to reach millions of consumers despite the political and geographical boundaries.

In China, you have to play it smart and something out of the book of general thumb rule. To brand yourself in Chinese market there are few pointers you need to memorize;

  • China is not a single market but an integration hub for the foreign and international markets.
  • Prepare your strategies that will educate Chinese consumers about your product or services
  • Ensure government policies and rules do not conflict with your policies.
  • Conducting a thorough survey is the lead to ensure future sales in the Chinese market.
  • Use Chinese translation services with impeccable quality to promote the brand and the list just goes on.

5 Ways One Solution: Boosting Brand Image in China

A starting point for any brand is to be able to differentiate amid other brands. Because reputation in China means everything, it’s a vital lifeline for all business to survive in the long run.

It will not matter whether you are a famous brand in western countries, if you are unable to appease the Chinese consumer in terms of localizing the product or service, then you are out!

To collect the scattered dignity back, you need to focus on the following techniques to make your way in the Chinese market.

Forget Google, Say Hi To Baidu

Businesses rely on Google as a human relies on oxygen for breathing.

Chinese are pro-creators i.e. they can imitate a product and name it, market it, and make it an overnight success. But it is also not without a proper struggle. Can you think of using another browser server instead of Google?

In China, Baidu is the new Google. Anything you want to search from their perspective is on this platform. Baidu targets the Chinese market and at a strong level at that. As long as you are under the working code of Baidu, use the local versions of the following platforms will help to proceed with the repute;

  • Baike – Chinese Wikipedia
  • Baidu Zhidao and Zhihu – native Quora
  • Tieba – Chinese platform for forums

People follow Baidu blindly, whatever search it offers is wired in consumer’s mind and they do not second guess for other options either. It’s hard to convert from Google, but oh the things you do for business…

Tangible Forums Are Your New Friends

Local forums are one of the most interactively integrated platforms, to learn about the industry and the public. Chinese people are always curious about the products and services and do not shy from providing feedback.

However, if you get a bad review from any single user, you are doomed for good, such as the power a consumer hold over your brand. Instead of targeting a wider audience, it’s advised to focus on a segmented forum at your initial stage. Start slow, but start from a strong base. Once you reach the desired quality of reviews, you can further expand your product or service to another segmented audience.

But remember you aim to elevate brand awareness through these forums. Do not let your business die when it’s only starting to breathe.

Eat and Breathe E-Media

Electronic media plays the role of Superman in this case. From the comic-cons to fashion magazines, people now target e-magazines to learn about the latest updates. These platforms are trustworthy in the eyes of Chinese consumer. Especially, for the technology sector, people do not easily rely on any new player in the series, they trust the old one even if it provides old features.

It’s all about reputation. People are never happy to take risks in foreign brands as long as you can localize your brand in the language your consumer understands you will see hurdles even to target the right e-media.

Most articles, forums, blogs, etc. are readily occupied by the native influencers that are the new style icons for the Chinese consumers.  Approach the apps, localize, translate, and think like a native.

Social Media Is Your International ID

Long gone are the days when Myspace or Orkut were the high media platforms. Even with the ongoing strength of Facebook, internationally, people of china are more reluctant towards using it. Why? They want the comfort of their language and do not want to keep translating everything.

Despite the variety of social media platforms, Chinese, as always, produce a native version for everyday use such as;

WeChat is one of the popular trendings in use these days. It’s a marketing goal to nurture new prospects that will upgrade your advertising and maintain a high profile for the support. Alongside you have Little Red Book and Douyin on your list of items too to engage people on a well-approached platform and help you display products, let users engage with videos and story highlights. Make a name for yourself in these social media slash business profiles.

Celebrity Who? It’s the Season of Kol

We are living in an era of influencers. Influential market, relatively the latest concept, has taken up by the storm and changing the brand endorsement game altogether. When brand ambassador as a predecessor, these days thanks to YouTube channels, there are certain vloggers a little upscale heavily influencing their followers. Followers are subject to their influencers the way they talk, eat, what they wear etc. these Key Opinion Leaders act as a new hope for the brands.

These KOL are the trendsetters and also consumers like the respective niche. With million followers they can make or break the trend of a brand.

Approach them in good terms, use their popularity to your advantage but with a mutual benefit of course.

Final Thoughts

With the latest tools and perfect synchronized collaborations can save the day and make you the apple’s eye of the Chinese consumers. Take keen steps and earn what you rightfully deserve.

 

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Antonia February 7, 2020 0 Comments