Website Globalization and E-Business China

An Expert's View about IT and Telecommunications in China

Posted on: 16 Jul 2010

This report is meant to be a primer on e-Business as well as a collection of language, culture and website globalization facts for China.

Globalization Partners International White Paper | June 2009 Website Globalization and E-Business China 1 of 16 www.globalizationpartners.com The Website Globalization and E-Business China The Website Globalization and E-Business Series includes a series of brief reports on country-specific paper was researched and written by: website globalization and e-business topics. The series includes: Martin Spethman ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? China Managing Partner ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? Japan Globalization Partners International ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? Germany mspethman@globalizationpartners.com ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? US Hispanic Market Phone: 866-272-5874 ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? Brazil ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? India Maria Laura Rosas ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? Russia Marketing Specialist ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? Argentina Globalization Partners International ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? France mlrosas@globalizationpartners.com ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? United Kingdom Phone: 866-272-5874 ? Website Globalization and E-Business ? United Arab Emirates Hui Zhu This series of reports is meant to be a primer on e-Business as well as a collection of language, culture Project Manager and website globalization facts by country. These reports are by no means a complete coverage of Globalization Partners International these topics. For more comprehensive or customized reports on country-specific Website Globalization huizhu@globalizationpartners.com and E-Business topics, please email mspethman@globalizationpartners.com. Phone: 866-272-5874 No material contained in this report may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written Nitish Singh, PhD, permission of Globalization Partners International. The information contained in this White Paper has Author of ?The Culturally Customized Website?, been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, but neither its completeness nor accuracy can and Assistant Professor of International Business, be guaranteed. Boeing Institute of International Business, John Cook School of Business, Saint Louis University. Copyright 2009 Globalization Partners International. singhn2@slu.edu ® All Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Phone: 314-977-7604 All graphics used in this report were provided by Flikr, Google Images and other free internet resources for pictures. Globalization Partners International helps companies communicate and conduct business in any language and in any locale by providing an array of globalization services including: ? Translation ? Multilingual Desktop Publishing ? Software Internationalization & Localization ? Website Internationalization & Localization ? Software and Website Testing ? Interpretation (Telephonic, Consecutive, Simultaneous) ? Globalization Consulting To learn more about Globalization Partners International, please visit us at www.globalizationpartners.com. 2 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com I. Market Introduction and Stats Stats/Source Online Activities Fast Facts Numbers Chinese Online ? 80% of Chinese youth under 24 GDP $7.8 trillion in 2008 General Stats Population use the Internet Growth rate 8% in 2009 Makeup ? 85% of Chinese spend time on Chinese web pages Based on CASS Population 1.3 billion Internet Report Internet population 298 million Internet users Internet Internet Access ? 70% access Internet from Patterns home Online spending $12.5 billion ? 37% from the workplace Based on CNNIC.Net ? 27% from Internet Cafes es Chinese websites Almost 700,000 Chinese websitestimates ? Average consumer spends Future estimates Internet population: 266.6 million by 2009 16 hours a week online ? Average monthly cost of Summary Sheet (CNNIC.NET 2005-2006) Internet access is 103.6 Yuan Popular Internet ? Books & Publications Purchases ? Audio/Video L China is an emerging global economic power with a GDP of $7.8 trillion in 2008. The Economist ? PC (cnnic.net) predicts that China?s growth rate will be 8% in 2009. This means that China has a purchasing ? Clothing ? Mobile phones power parity only second to the United States and a population of 1.3 billion. (www.cia.gov) ? Home goods ? MP3 players ? Cosmetics L According to a Credit Suisse First Boston report, the Chinese consumer is going to replace the US Online Shopping ? Product damage or failure consumer as a primary engine of global growth by 2014. Concerns ? Quality of the product ? Difficulty returning the product (cnnic.net) ? Long delivery times L Based on various research estimates, the online user population in China is approximately 298 ? Security of online payment million with approximately 64 million Chinese accessing the Internet via broadband connections Online Payment ? Pay Online (61.5%) (www.cnnic.net.cn/en). It is estimated that 70% of Chinese users access the Internet from home, Choices ? Payment on delivery (36.1%) ? Bank Transfer (25.8%) 37% from the workplace and 27% from Internet Cafes (www.cnnic.net). (cnnic.net) ? Postal Order (18.2%) Use of IM ? 93 million Chinese online L Last year Chinese online users spent almost $12.5 billion on Internet purchases according to the Community Tool consumers use IM ? China Internet Information Center. Chat with friends (83.8%) (cnnic.net) ? Work (61.6%) ? Making new friends (42.3%) L China boast more than 700,000 websites and a solid foundation for eCommerce development The Chinese Online Consumer (www.chinaknowledge.com). L Based on Datamonitor estimates, Chinese Internet users will grow up to 266.6 million and the Internet access market will reach up to $26.4 billion by 2009. 3 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com II. Chinese Culture and the Online Consumer Cultural Values Chinese Culture and Values Collectivism: This value indicates how closely a society is knit. In collectivist cultures like China, the China is a traditional society full of symbols, rituals, values and contextual elements. At a macro- needs, values, and goals of the family and societal level, Chinese culture can be described using five cultural values based on the work of Hofstede unit take precedence over individual goals. Group- (1980). Professor Geert Hofstede conducted perhaps the most comprehensive study of how values consciousness and family are major values that guide in the workplace are influenced by culture and is the author of several books including Culture?s people?s behavior. Consequences (2nd fully revised edition, 2001), and Cultures and Organizations, Software of the Mind Power Distance: A belief in authority and hierarchy (2nd fully revised edition 2005). (high power distance). Cultures like China that within the culture are high on power distance accept Hofstede demonstrated that there are national and regional cultural groupings that affect the behavior power and hierarchy in the society and are low on of societies and organizations that are very persistent across time. Hofstede?s research showed that egalitarianism. In such cultures, less powerful citizens cultural values like Individualism-Collectivism, Power Distance, Masculinity-Femininity, are accepting of unequal power distribution in society. High-Low Context and Uncertainty Avoidance can be used to categorize various national cultures Masculinity-Femininity: A belief in achievement and (see sidebar for definitions of these terms). ambition (masculine) versus a belief in nurturing and caring for others (feminine). Masculine cultures like A country?s culture is made unique based on which of these five values are incorporated into daily life China value assertiveness, material possessions, and and the emphasis it puts on each. For example, China rates significantly on Collectivism, Masculinity, success. Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance and High Context. High-Low Context: High context cultures, like China, have close connections among group members, and Insights into Chinese Consumer Values: everybody knows what every other person knows. Thus, in such cultures most of the information to L Family: China is a group-oriented or collectivist society where relationships, network of function in a group is intrinsically known, and there is relationships and harmony in relationships is valued over individual needs and goals. little information that is explicit. High context cultures L Role Formalization: The importance of hierarchical relationships in Chinese society can be traced use more symbols and nonverbal cues to communicate, back to Confucius? five cardinal relations between sovereign and minister, father and son, husband with meanings embedded in the situational context. and wife, old and young, and friends (Ji and McNeal, 2001). Chinese tend to balance the roles and Uncertainty Avoidance: The importance of harmonize their relationships based on the five cardinal relations of Confucius. predictability, structure, and order (high uncertainty L Reciprocity: Reciprocity and interdependence in inter-personal relationship is taken seriously in avoidance) versus a willingness for risk-taking and Chinese society (Hung, 2004). an acceptance of ambiguity and limited structure L Trust: ?Xin? (trustworthiness) is the most valuable philosophy among Chinese consumers. This (low uncertainty avoidance). People from cultures sentiment can be seen captured in the belief that ?once a liar, always a liar.? high on uncertainty avoidance, like China, tend Personal reputation and prestige are important to Chinese; a proverb says: ?a man needs a face like to have low tolerance for uncertainty and avoid a tree needs its bark?. ambiguous situations, view conflict and competition as ? Chinese consumers look for monetary value - ?Stretch a penny.? There is a Chinese saying ?never threatening, and value security over adventure and risk. make a purchase until you have compared three shops?. ? Chinese may appear to be ?suspicious and cold? towards strangers with whom relationships have (Hofstede, Geert. Culture?s Consequences, Comparing Values, not been established. Such an obsession has caused much emphasis on relying on established Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations relationships (guanxi) and relationship networks (guanxiwang). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001) ? Guanxi: or proper connections (social networking in its most profound sense) is an important aspect of a Confucian society like China. Creating ?Guanxi? through business partners, affiliates, online networks, or local Chinese companies is crucial for business success in China. ? In developed countries with a strong tradition of law, a contract may be of fundamental importance in defining a relationship. In China, it is more of a symbol of the harmonious relationship between the two sides (Murray, 1994). 4 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com II. Chinese Culture and the Online Consumer Chinese Consumer Decision Making: Based on theoretical and applied research in academia (Gong, 2003; Hiu et al., 2001; Fan and Xiao, 1998, Singh et al. 2004, 2005) below are some unique insights into a Chinese consumer?s mind: ? Chinese consumers generally rely on internal research based on past purchase experiences to make future purchase decisions. ? Chinese consumers in general, frequently use Word-of-Mouth or referrals from friends, family, and colleagues to gather market information. ? Chinese consumers tend to be somewhat risk-averse when shopping. Providing free trials and demos may reduce this anxiety. ? Chinese consumers tend to consciously look for well-known brands that have high prestige or are considered high quality. ? Chinese consumers, in general, tend to be very price-conscious and seek both extended information search and the evaluation of alternatives when making a high value purchase. Chinese Consumer Segments: Market segmentation is an exercise in carefully identifying profitable and accessible consumer segments based on socio-demographics, geographics, and psychographics. Segmentation is unique to each company and product. Some general insights on Chinese consumer segments - based on research (Gong, 2003; Hiu et al., 2001; Fan and Xiao, 1998, McEwen et al., 2006; Singh et al. 2004, 2005) ? China?s Elite and nouveau riche: In China more than 400 million people live on less than $2 a day but there is an emerging and fast growing elite class which shops at Armani, Gucci, Cartier, Ferrari, Bentley, and Hugo Boss. These are the high brand-conscious and prestige-oriented Chinese consumer segments who like to indulge in conspicuous consumption. ? China?s Generation Y: Success-driven, educated, information savvy and surprisingly loyal to Chinese values and culture but also open to Western ideas. They are good candidates for Western brands and are fashion-conscious. ? Trendy, Perfectionist Consumers: These are predominantly females who love to shop and associate foreign brands with quality and style. ? Traditional, Pragmatic Consumers: They don?t like to shop much and basically look for products based on price and not style. Predominantly male consumers and generally go for less expensive local brands rather than expensive or stylish foreign brands. ? Confused by Over Choice Consumer: Like traditional and pragmatic consumers they are not big on shopping and they prefer local Chinese brands over unknown brands and foreign brands. 5 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com III. The Chinese Language Language Facts/Tips Chinese belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family of languages and is spoken by more than a billion people making it the most widely spoken language in the world. Mandarin happens to be the most widely Ì When working with Chinese remember it is a double-byte language and thus spoken Chinese dialect, followed by Wu (Shanghainese), Yue (Cantonese), Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka and single-byte will not work. Double-byte other dialects (www.wikipedia.org). Chinese character sets include: GB and Unicode for Simplified Chinese, and Big Five and Unicode for Traditional Chinese. Ì Chinese names actually create visual representations imbued with meaning - thus when developing brands online or offline make sure your brand names carry meaning relevant to the Chinese consumer. Example, the P&G brand -Pamper means ?helping baby?s comfort? or the brand -Whispers means ?protection and comfort? (Jacques, 2004). Ì Chinese is full of homophones which are words with the same pronunciation as another word. Numbers like 8, 6, 9, are homophones for auspiciousness and prosperity. The number 8 reads as ?Fa? (Cantonese) which means ?to make a great fortune in the near future?. Ì Traditional and Simplified Chinese: Today traditional Chinese characters are used in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macua, and simplified Chinese characters are mostly used in Mainland China and Singapore. Chinese is written using characters called ideographs. There are approximately 50,000 characters Ì Chinese can be written both vertically and horizontally. found in the standard Chinese dictionary. The majority of Chinese characters consist of two elements Ì Chinese is generally written without any 1) a signific, which indicates the meaning of the word, and 2) a phonetic, which indicates the sound spaces between words, and even lines (Katzner: Languages of the World) can be broken at any point. Chinese names should be written with surname first followed by the first name. 6 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com IV. Website Globalization Whether you are trying to launch a multilingual website in order to expand the markets for your products and services, or you are trying to increase your company?s global operational efficiencies by developing multilingual extranets and intranets, Website Globalization is a requirement to make either a reality. In order to enable your web presence to communicate, conduct and complete international e-Business, you need to translate (globalize) your website. Website translation is also known as ?Website Globalization?. In order to truly ?translate? a website into other languages you may need both Internationalization (I18n) and Localization (L10n) services. + Internationalization (I18n) involves enabling the backend of a website to handle different languages, character sets, currencies, submit form data, site search capabilities, etc? and involves understanding what database and content management systems you are using to author, store and publish your site?s content. Localization (L10n) involves translating and localizing the front end of your website into different languages ensuring all content (text and graphics) is translated in an accurate and culturally correct manner. The next two pages detail the steps that may be performed in a typical website globalization project. The tables list the team members, tasks and standard quality assurance steps utilized in translating a website. 7 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com Quality Tasks Team Assurance IV. Website Globalization Subject Matter Cultural Translation, Formatting of Source File Project Glossary Localization of Localization of Delivery Final Edits and SEO and Internet Training and Correctness Editing and Language QA / Testing Review Kick-Off Development all Graphics Multimedia to Client Archiving of Files Marketing Research Assessment Proofreading Documents GO! ? Account Manager ? Account Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Desktop Publishers ? Lead Translators ? Localization Engineers ? Lead Translators ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Localization Engineers ? Global SEM Specialists ? Internationalization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Desktop Publishers ? Desktop Publishers ? Desktop Publishers ? Localization Engineers ? Web CMS Specialists ? Internationalization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Internationalization Engineers ? Web Designers ? Web CMS Specialists ? Web Designers ? Web Designers ? Web Designers ? QA-Testers ? Web Developers ? Web Designers ? Web Developers ? Web CMS Specialists ? Global SEM Specialists ? Web Developers ? Web Designers ? Global SEM Specialists ? Web Developers ? Companies wanting to translate ? A Project ?Kick-Off? includes ? A Globalization Services ? Translation teams develop ? Before the actual translation ? Translation is performed ? All embedded translatable ? Many websites have an array ? Many websites incorporate various ? GPI provides basic Online Localization ? After the website and all components ? Client provides any final comments for ? GPI recommends the client plan on and their website put together all of and confirms the following: Team (GST) will review/study and maintains client specific begins, the source web by a base translation/copy text commonly found in of linked documents which may multimedia components which may Quality Assurance (QA) as a standard have been localized, final draft sets of the translation and formatting. conduct some form of global internet the source files from their site any reference materials glossaries leveraging any content and overall site writing team, and editing/ navigation buttons, web art require localization. require localization. line item for all website projects. the source files in all target language marketing (IM) and/or search engine (called a?Localization Kit?) for a 9 provided, including source existing client glossaries design and feature set proofreading by a second and other web graphics are versions are provided to the client. ? Comments are incorporated and final marketing (SEM) in order to drive traffic The project team globalization services provider 9 files, demos and general and the latest industry- is reviewed for basic linguistic team. pulled from graphics and ? Formatting or desktop publishing (DTP) ? Multimedia must be analyzed ? This QA checks the language versions websites and documents are produced. to your new language sites. Project schedules to analyze. client information. specific dictionaries. cultural correctness and translated using the standard of these documents includes formatting individually for numerous items. These of your site under selected browser-OS ? Client may review and approve all web 9 Project specifications ? The files are prepared in order customizations that may ? All translations are completed translation workflow. the target language documentation to items range from determining word combination for any cosmetic or content for both translation accuracy ? GPI ensures the client?s Translation ? This may include global search engine to utilize a translation memory 9 Workflow requirements ? In addition, there may be be required. by human translators, match the original source documents counts in screen text, audio scripts and linguistic issues, and will help identity and design correctness. Memories and Glossaries are updated optimization of the localized web tool workflow and preserve 9 Communication any mark-up/formatting code client-specific training for utilizing translation ? The translated text is then in terms of layout, fonts, graphics, and graphics, to the analysis of the types of basic functionality issues as well. with any final linguistic changes and content, submission of pages to key channels in order to save time and costs translation teams related ? An array of issues are memory technologies that incorporated into the overall design. assets and how they were digitized and ? Another round of QA is performed once the final project folder, including all country (locale) search engines and 9 Review & approval with desktop publishing the to the subject matter of reviewed ranging from the ensure an efficient and original graphic, adjusting as included in your multimedia. ? Typically all testing is client-driven and language versions of a website are in source files are securely stored for pay-per-click marketing campaigns opportunities language versions. the website. need to culturally customize consistent translation. required, to create a language ? Adobe PDF?s can be created and GPI?s professionals can work side by their final hosting environment future revisions if required. through services like Google AdWords 9 Review current ? A proposal is generated based on graphics and adding or ?localized? version of optimized for screen or print and linked ? All multimedia can be localized and side with your expert users to perform or Overture. an array of factors including word web authoring and local phone numbers to the graphic. off of the new website. tested to play in any target languages. Internationalization (I18N), Localization counts, localizable graphics, publishing workflow. comprehensive customization (L10N) and/or Functionality Testing, target languages and any content of website features based on onsite or offsite. management systems and workflows to be used. locale specific cultural values. GPI follows a comprehensive, customizable and fully documented Quality Control Process. Each step in our translation workflow includes a series of checklist-based quality audits to ensure the accuracy of the translation and desktop publishing. Our client?s Clients are given an opportunity to Clients are given an opportunity to Clients are given an opportunity to review and Clients are given an opportunity to review and QA and workflow processes can also be easily review and approve at several stages in review and approve at several stages in approve at several stages in the documentation approve at several stages in the documentation incorporated into our workflow. the documentation translation process. the documentation translation process. translation process. translation process. 8 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com Quality Tasks Team Assurance IV. Website Globalization Subject Matter Cultural Translation, Formatting of Source File Project Glossary Localization of Localization of Delivery Final Edits and SEO and Internet Training and Correctness Editing and Language QA / Testing Review Kick-Off Development all Graphics Multimedia to Client Archiving of Files Marketing Research Assessment Proofreading Documents GO! ? Account Manager ? Account Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Project Manager ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Lead Translators ? Desktop Publishers ? Lead Translators ? Localization Engineers ? Lead Translators ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Editors & Copy Writers ? Localization Engineers ? Global SEM Specialists ? Internationalization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Desktop Publishers ? Desktop Publishers ? Desktop Publishers ? Localization Engineers ? Web CMS Specialists ? Internationalization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Localization Engineers ? Internationalization Engineers ? Web Designers ? Web CMS Specialists ? Web Designers ? Web Designers ? Web Designers ? QA-Testers ? Web Developers ? Web Designers ? Web Developers ? Web CMS Specialists ? Global SEM Specialists ? Web Developers ? Web Designers ? Global SEM Specialists ? Web Developers ? Companies wanting to translate ? A Project ?Kick-Off? includes ? A Globalization Services ? Translation teams develop ? Before the actual translation ? Translation is performed ? All embedded translatable ? Many websites have an array ? Many websites incorporate various ? GPI provides basic Online Localization ? After the website and all components ? Client provides any final comments for ? GPI recommends the client plan on and their website put together all of and confirms the following: Team (GST) will review/study and maintains client specific begins, the source web by a base translation/copy text commonly found in of linked documents which may multimedia components which may Quality Assurance (QA) as a standard have been localized, final draft sets of the translation and formatting. conduct some form of global internet the source files from their site any reference materials glossaries leveraging any content and overall site writing team, and editing/ navigation buttons, web art require localization. require localization. line item for all website projects. the source files in all target language marketing (IM) and/or search engine (called a?Localization Kit?) for a 9 provided, including source existing client glossaries design and feature set proofreading by a second and other web graphics are versions are provided to the client. ? Comments are incorporated and final marketing (SEM) in order to drive traffic The project team globalization services provider 9 files, demos and general and the latest industry- is reviewed for basic linguistic team. pulled from graphics and ? Formatting or desktop publishing (DTP) ? Multimedia must be analyzed ? This QA checks the language versions websites and documents are produced. to your new language sites. Project schedules to analyze. client information. specific dictionaries. cultural correctness and translated using the standard of these documents includes formatting individually for numerous items. These of your site under selected browser-OS ? Client may review and approve all web 9 Project specifications ? The files are prepared in order customizations that may ? All translations are completed translation workflow. the target language documentation to items range from determining word combination for any cosmetic or content for both translation accuracy ? GPI ensures the client?s Translation ? This may include global search engine to utilize a translation memory 9 Workflow requirements ? In addition, there may be be required. by human translators, match the original source documents counts in screen text, audio scripts and linguistic issues, and will help identity and design correctness. Memories and Glossaries are updated optimization of the localized web tool workflow and preserve 9 Communication any mark-up/formatting code client-specific training for utilizing translation ? The translated text is then in terms of layout, fonts, graphics, and graphics, to the analysis of the types of basic functionality issues as well. with any final linguistic changes and content, submission of pages to key channels in order to save time and costs translation teams related ? An array of issues are memory technologies that incorporated into the overall design. assets and how they were digitized and ? Another round of QA is performed once the final project folder, including all country (locale) search engines and 9 Review & approval with desktop publishing the to the subject matter of reviewed ranging from the ensure an efficient and original graphic, adjusting as included in your multimedia. ? Typically all testing is client-driven and language versions of a website are in source files are securely stored for pay-per-click marketing campaigns opportunities language versions. the website. need to culturally customize consistent translation. required, to create a language ? Adobe PDF?s can be created and GPI?s professionals can work side by their final hosting environment future revisions if required. through services like Google AdWords 9 Review current ? A proposal is generated based on graphics and adding or ?localized? version of optimized for screen or print and linked ? All multimedia can be localized and side with your expert users to perform or Overture. an array of factors including word web authoring and local phone numbers to the graphic. off of the new website. tested to play in any target languages. Internationalization (I18N), Localization counts, localizable graphics, publishing workflow. comprehensive customization (L10N) and/or Functionality Testing, target languages and any content of website features based on onsite or offsite. management systems and workflows to be used. locale specific cultural values. GPI follows a comprehensive, customizable and fully documented Quality Control Process. Each step in our translation workflow includes a series of checklist-based quality audits to ensure the accuracy of the translation and desktop publishing. Our client?s Clients are given an opportunity to Clients are given an opportunity to Clients are given an opportunity to review and Clients are given an opportunity to review and QA and workflow processes can also be easily review and approve at several stages in review and approve at several stages in approve at several stages in the documentation approve at several stages in the documentation incorporated into our workflow. the documentation translation process. the documentation translation process. translation process. translation process. 9 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com V. Chinese Cultural Correctness and Web Customization Cultural Customization: Key Issues The basis for cultural customization of websites is a theoretically sound, empirically validated framework built on five unique cultural values that account for similarities and differences across global cultures. Research indicates that attitude towards websites, the sites? interactivity and usability, as well as purchase intentions of users are enhanced when sites are congruent with the target customers? cultural predispositions. (See ?The Culturally Customized Website?, Elsevier, 2005.) The cultural customization framework is drawn from established research and is based on five unique values: Individualism-Collectivism, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity-Femininity, and Low-High Context. (See page 4 of this report.) The five predominant cultural values can be represented in a country-to-country comparison using the maps below: Masculinity -Femininity vs. Uncertainty Avoidance Power Distance vs. Individualism -Collectivism 100 100 Ì China 50 50 Ì China Masculinity -Femininity Index Power Distance Index 0 0 0 50 100 0 50 100 Arab World Argentina Australia Austria Brazil Arab World Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Canada Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Brazil Canada Chile China Colombia Czech Republic Czech Republic Denmark East A frica Ecuador Colombia Costa Rica Czech Republic Denmark East A frica El S alvador Finland France Germany Greece El Salvador Finland France Germany Guatemala Guatemala Hong K ong Hungary India Indonesia Hungary Hong K ong India Indonesia Ireland Iran Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Iran Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Japan Malaysia Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Malaysia Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Norway Pakistan Panama Peru Philippines Pakistan Panama Peru Philippines Poland Poland Portugal Russia Singapore South Africa Portugal Russia Singapore South Africa South Korea South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Turkey Thailand Turkey U.S. Hispanic Market United A rab Emirates United K ingdom U.S. Hispanic Market United A rab Emirates United Kingdom United S tates Uruguay United S tates Uruguay Venezuela West A frica Venezuela West A frica Cultural Maps For China Cultural Maps adapted from: ?The Culturally Customized Website: Customizing Websites for the Global Marketplace? by Nitish Singh and Arun Pereira (2005), and Hofstede, Geert. ?Culture?s Consequences, Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations? Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001). 10 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com Uncertainty Avoidance Index Individualism - Collectivism Index V. Chinese Cultural Correctness and Web Customization The Cultural Customization Scorecard Once we have identified the country?s predominant cultural values using the cultural maps the next step in customizing a website is to evaluate it on the relevant cultural values. This can be done in the form of The Cultural Customization Score Card. The score card is produced by analyzing the site on the features that conform to the cultural values of interest. The cultural values of interest for China are Collectivism, Masculinity, High Power Distance, and High Context. The scores are calculated using ?content analysis? of a given website. (For a detailed cultural analysis of your website please contact mspethman@globalizationpartners.com) The Cultural Customization Scorecard? - China Grading Scale: Values Individualism Collectivism Uncertainty Power Masculinity Low High Avoidance Distance Context Context > 90% Excellent Customization on Cultural Value Cultural 70-89% Good Customization on Cultural Value Scores < 70% Poor Customization on Cultural Value Cultural Customization (Examples)  Collectivism: As China is a collectivist country the targeted websites may be culturally customized to a degree by emphasizing values important in collectivist cultures. Research suggests there are several web-specific features that can be included in a website to make it more appealing to collectivist cultures. For example, emphasizing family theme.  Power Distance: Since China?s score is high on power distance, cultural customization may be achieved by adding elements that emphasize this value. For example, displaying awards or honors that a company or brand has received. 11 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com V. Chinese Cultural Correctness and Web Customization  Masculinity: Since China leans more toward the masculinity value, cultural customization that emphasizes values more relevant to masculine cultures helps create higher communication appeal. For example having clear gender roles depicted on the site.  High Context: As China is a high context culture, values and communication style consistent with high context value like harmony and aesthetics can help achieve cultural customization. Website Customization Considerations Symbols and Icons An ancient culture like China has a long list of symbols and icons that carry special cultural meaning. It is important to be aware of them to avoid any cultural blunders and inadvertent use of offensive symbols. Some example: L Number 8 tends to be a lucky number. L Avoid the use of the numbers 4 and 7 which may relate to death. L Animals: 2007 was the Year of the Pig, which is considered lucky. Other good luck symbols are the Dragon and Tortoise (Dragon ? Yang, Tortoise ? Yin) which bring good luck and health. A three-legged frog is a symbol for good luck, too. L Clocks may symbolize death. 12 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com V. Chinese Cultural Correctness and Web Customization Colors In China certain colors carry specific meaning and symbolize certain aspects of Chinese culture. Red: The Chinese lucky color. Red generally expresses joy, prosperity, luck and happiness. The use of red or a carefully selected shade of red (several sites in China use shades of red as a background color) can have a good impact on the visual imagery of the site. Spatial Orientation: Spatial orientation refers to how web content is structured. According to Wendy Barber and Albert Badre, authors of ?Culturability: The Merging of Culture and Usability? (1998), spatial orientation has a direct effect on website usability, because it affects visual perception. Manipulating the orientation can change the user?s comfort level. What is user-friendly for one country may be vastly different for another. 13 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com V. Chinese Cultural Correctness and Web Customization Text Length: When translating a document or website, it is important to take into account how the length of the text will change after translation. There are a variety of reasons why text expansion occurs. Equivalent phrases in a target language may have more characters or words than in English, and some cultures prefer using a more formal style than other cultures, avoiding abbreviations, for example. Additionally, for both documents and websites both line and page breaks may be different in the localized version than in the English version. Finally, the layout of the document or website itself may change depending on the direction of the text. For example, Arabic is a bi-directional language and is read right-to-left, which will not only switch the layout of the text, but also the graphics, the tool bars, the navigation bars, and the binding of the book, etc... Similarly, some languages like Chinese and Japanese can be displayed either in left-to-right character rows or vertical character columns, and the choice influences how document elements such as graphics, figures, tables, call outs, etc. are arranged in the final document or webpage. There can either be text expansion or compression when a document or website is translated from English into a target language. For example, Chinese can shrink up to 25% when translated from English. With document localization, there are several steps that can be taken to help preserve the integrity of the look and feel ?layout? of the document. These include: L Using a larger font in the original language, if it is expected the language will expand during translation. This will help to develop a better feel for the final size of the document and how the document elements will be laid out relative to the text. If the text is expected to shrink, use a slightly smaller font for the same reasons. L Tables and graphics may need to be resized or changed. Some, like the vertical Chinese or Japanese layout, will require more finessing than others. 14 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com VI. Internet and Search Engine Marketing in China The key to promoting a website internationally is to create localized content, localized keywords, register local domains and then promote through local search engines, affiliate marketing, online and offline branding and promotions. According to the Chinese Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) the top level CN domains registered have reached more than a million. Now i-DNS.net International Pte. Ltd., in partnership with CNNIC is offering Internet domain names completely in Chinese characters. According to CNNIC guidelines the Chinese domain name must have at least one Chinese character. You may select from Chinese characters, ASCII letters (A-Z same as a-z), numbers (0-9) or hyphen (-) to compose your Chinese domain name. The length shall be limited to 20 characters (letters) (cnnic.net). According to the CASS Internet report (2005) commonly visited sites in China include Sina, Sohu, Netease, Baidu and Yahoo. Alexa.com ranks Baidu, a search engine, to be the most visited site in China, followed by qq.com, sina.com.cn, and sohu.com. According to CNNIC the search engines are ranked in terms of use: Ì Baidu Ì Google It is recommended that firms plan on and conduct some Ì Yahoo form of global search engine marketing (SEM) in order Ì Sohu to drive traffic to their new language sites. Ì Sina This may include global search engine optimization of your localized Web content, submission of pages to Among high-end users, who are considered age 25 and above, educated, and with a good income, key country (locale) search engines, and a pay-per-click marketing campaigns through services like Google Google seems to be the clear search engine of choice. Adwords or Overture. At the very least these estimates on top search engines help identify where to promote the site when For more information on Global SEM Services, see www.globalizationpartners.com/SEM targeting Chinese online market. Thus, it is crucial for a website to get listed on these search engines for visibility and exposure. Companies can furthermore explore key word development, paid submission, manual submission, paid inclusion to top search engines and directories like Baidu. 15 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com Resources Search Engines Chinese Traditional Chinese Simplified ß Yahoo Taiwan ß Apol.com ß Baidu.com tw.yahoo.com www.apol.com.tw www.baidu.com ß Googel Taiwan ß Yam.com ß Yisou.com www.google.com/intl/zh-TW/ www.yam.com www.yisou.com ß Openfind ß Sina Hong Kong ß Sogou.com www.openfind.com.tw search.sina.com.hk www.sogou.com ß sina.com.tw ß Yahoo Hong Kong ß Sina.com www.sina.com.tw hk.yahoo.com cha.sina.com.cn ß Dreamer.com ß Google Hong Kong ß Netease.com www.dreamer.com.tw www.google.com.hk so.163.com ß Hinet.net ß MSN Hong Kong ß Zhongsou.com www.hinet.net search.msn.com.hk www.zhongsou.com ß Taihoo.com ß Timway.com ß Yahoo China www.taihoo.com www.timway.com cn.search.yahoo.com ß Anet.net.tw ß Y28.com ß Google.com www.anet.net.tw www.y28.com/cgi-bin/link/index.pl www.google.com/intl/zh-CN ß Lycos China / Myrice.com search.myrice.com/sitesearch.php ß Tom.com i.tom.com Useful Links ß www.cnnic.net.cn ß www.export.gov ß www.greatfirewallofchina.org ß www2.chinaknowledge.com ß www.expatsinchina.com ß www.loc.gov/rr/international/asian/china/ china.html ß www.chinadaily.com.cn ß www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/ moneyconverter.htm ß www.CNTO.org ß globaledge.msu.edu ß english.ccnt.com.cn ß www.chinabloglist.org ß english.ccpit.org ß www.ChinaToday.com ß www.countrywatch.com ß beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn ß www.china.org.cn ß news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country_profiles/ ß www.buyusa.gov/china/en Acrobat may ask you for permission to open the links. Click on the ?Allow? button to let Acrobat open the link in your browser 16 of 16 Website Globalization and E-Business | China www.globalizationpartners.com
Posted: 16 July 2010

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