Get Into The Game With Chinese Localization!
You meet with your Chinese business contacts and their English is amazing. With such high language skills, is it really necessary to spend money to localize and translate for China? If you want 95% of your potential Chinese market to be comfortable with your product, the answer is yes. In fact, China’s software localization history stretches over 20 years. Understand how localization has worked in the past and you’ll be ready to build a localization strategy that embraces China’s present and future.
The birth of localization in China (1993-1995)
Translation and globalization came together as the parents of software localization in China during the early 1990s. The US software company Oracle established an offshoot in Beijing, called Beijing Oracle Software, LTD. In 1992 Microsoft and IBM followed suit. These three software giants require intense software localization; an industry is born.
Teenage dreams (1995-2009)
Like many teenagers, Chinese software localization had an incredible growth spurt as a youth. The number of software companies engaging in globalized business increased exponentially from the mid-1990s through the 2000s. Local companies sprang up in Beijing and Shenzhen while large, international players such as ALPNet, BGS, Lionbridge and Trados also entered the market. A slew of localization mergers with US companies began, creating giants that provided a wider range of services at much lower prices. Publications like Multilingual publish articles to coach foreigners on how to do business in China; the world watches the fast development of the Chinese market in fascination.
Maturity and experience (2009-2012)
The rapid growth of China’s economy increased even more after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. With over 10 years of development to draw on, localization companies demonstrate their experience in providing services and applying the best new technology. Localization companies begin to appear in more major cities; several universities even start offering localization as a major for their students.
Continued growth for the Chinese translation market (2013-now)
Unlike a human, Chinese localization just won’t stop growing. In fact, the translation market worldwide is expected to reach $37 billion by 2018, according to studies by IbisWorld. Recessions hardly make a dent. Both Chinese-based and international companies look for ways to capitalize on the fact that 95% of Chinese online consumers indicate a greater comfort level with websites in their own language. The additional need to localize into both simplified and traditional Chinese adds complexity and volume to the potential content.
What does this mean for my company?
The need for Chinese localization is real. Both Chinese and international companies are creating localized materials for the Chinese market, from webpages to software localization. For businesses looking to stay relevant, translation and localization of content is a definite priority. (And if you’re not sure about the distinction, check out our blog post Translation and Localization: Is There a Difference?.)
Want to know more about how Venga can help you navigate Chinese localization? Contact us for a free quote today and start leveraging our expertise for your company.