Language and communication issues may be the greatest impediment to breaking into the Chinese market. The ability to speak and understand Chinese is essential to business success. But in addition to having a capacity for English to Chinese translation and comprehension, the ability to be able to translate from Chinese to English is also invaluable. It can help improve advertising and marketing efforts and assist in business-to-business endeavors.
The Chinese economy is red hot. It has been growing by 10 percent per year since the 1980's and continues to steamroll into the new millennium. But what many American companies have learned by disappointment, is that you have to speak their language in order to get into the Chinese marketplace. There are other barriers of course, as in any emerging economy, but the basics of being able to speak Chinese or at least having marketing information translated from English to Chinese is a high hurdle to overcome. The other barriers may fall once you have the capacity for English to Chinese translation, but until you do, it will remain a major barrier to your business success in China.
Other barriers to successful investing and marketing in the Chinese economy are also tied to a capacity to have English to Chinese translation. They include any advertising of goods and services to the Chinese market as well as marketing initiatives to the Chinese business-to-business marketplace. Another capacity issue involving language is that someone in the organization will also have to be able to read, understand and translate Chinese information and materials into English.
There is no point in marketing to an ethnic group that you do not understand, and while there is a wealth of demographic and financial information available about the Chinese economy, most of it remains undecipherable to native English speakers because you can only get it in Mandarin Chinese.
How will a company develop an advertising campaign for its goods and services if the information gathered about income levels, purchasing patterns and other marketing tools is not accessible to them in English? Whether you want to sell soap or Internet-based services, like a search engine optimization services, you will need to fully understand all of these aspects before you begin advertising. This is the only way to reach your target market and actually have them buy your goods and services.
It is not easy to break into the Chinese market but without good English to Chinese translation and Chinese to English translation services, the potential for success is severely limited. You will still have to deal with a thousand other issues if you decide to explore the Chinese business landscape. Things like an oppressive bureaucracy, miles of red tape, and an unwillingness by some government officials to provide all of the information or access that you might require, may all drive you crazy. But if you get the language and two-way communication matter right, your chances of success in the hottest market on earth just got a lot better.