Why You Should Localize and Translate Website Content in China

Professional Translation Services Focusing on Regional Differences Inside the PRC

Want to reach deep inside China’s bustling consumer and tech-based markets? Of course you do. But before you hire a Mandarin translation service to localize your business website into regionally appropriate Chinese, it’s important that you realize that even Chinese companies localize for different parts of the country to effectively sell whatever it is that they have to offer. The ability to competently translate website content from English or French (or any other language) into Mandarin Chinese — with all of the corresponding technical issues involving file formats and Chinese fonts that work entails — is only the beginning.

The Advantages of Website Localization inside China

Love or hate this company, the efforts of the online hospitality business Airbnb to “crack” the massive Chinese market — with professional translation services helping localize and rebrand the company’s image inside of China — illustrate how tech firms that want to make it in the Middle Kingdom have to really dig down hard (culturally and linguistically speaking) at the local level.

In the case of Airbnb, according to Fortune Magazine, the company wanted to tap into China’s massive tourist and travel potential at home and abroad, but had concerns about penetrating China’s notoriously tough domestic market. This became even harder due to the fact that websites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, which Airbnb uses to reach potential clientele, are heavily censored or banned in China. A Mandarin translation service likely provided an ingenious way into the overall Chinese market by not only offering to translate website content for Airbnb, but by also helping the company rebrand and change its local name to Aibiying (爱彼迎, or “welcome each other with love”). Aibiying is a corporate moniker that comes across as warm and inviting, which is great press for a company helping people rent out spaces for others to live in. This new, cleverly localized brand name undoubtedly helped increase Airbnb’s visibility and presence in China.

Focusing on China’s Regional Differences

Tech companies and professional translation services need to focus on China’s regional differences to get ahead inside the country as well. One size does not fit all when it comes to China, which isn’t nearly as homogenous as some might tend to think. Even in Mandarin, many divergent dialects exist. Looking at urban centers alone, China boasts more than 110 cities with populations larger than the entire nation of New Zealand, according to China Skinny. Language (accent, slang, vernacular) and location differences really do matter.

When planning to translate website content for your business ventures in China, these large (and growing) cities — many of which the average Joe or Jill living outside of China may not have heard of yet (Chongqing, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin and more) — should be taken into account. By using professional translation services to localize content for millions of potential new customers residing in these lively urban areas, your translation provider can help you dig into various lucrative local scenes dotted across China.

Different Chinese cities often have different cultural ecosystems (liberal, conservative, artistic, manufacturing hubs, etc.), fashion sensibilities, trends and ways of communicating and doing business. Why not tap into these difference, take advantage of a Mandarin translation service’s local expertise on the ground, and make the most of your commercial foray into China’s mighty economic engine?


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