China is one of the leading regions in the world in terms of population, GDP, and size. Over the last decades, the country's impressive growth turned it into a strong "player" in political, macroeconomic, and other areas. The reforms that turned a poor and agricultural country into one of the strongest economies were called "China's economic miracle."

Nowadays, China ranks second in population, third by area size, and second by gross domestic product (GDP.) To better understand how important China is on the world stage, take a look at the following data:

  • China is the largest exporter of goods and the largest trading nation when considering the total value of its exports and imports.
  • China is "the world's factory" with suitable compliances and robust systems.
  • Only in 2021, 48.4 million new companies were registered in China, which is predicted to grow.

As a result of all the figures above, the average annual per capita disposable income has doubled during the last 10 years, increasing purchasing power. Thus, China became an exciting market to enter for different businesses.

What about the IT sector? In 2022, China was the third region worldwide in information communication technology (ICT) market. This country is a motherland of tech giants like Huawei, ZTE, and Xiaomi and big e-commerce like Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, etc. The revenue of the IT service market is expected to reach $72.87 bn in 2023. The share of the Chinese language on the web is still not leading, but it get a better position because of user growth rate. In 2023, it is 2,650.4%, while English is 742.9%.

Internet penetration in China

In 2023, there are more than 1 billion internet users (around 20% of the whole) in China, and the internet penetration amounts to 73.7 percent. Thus, this country has the highest number of internet users worldwide. The situation between rural and urban populations is quite different - the major cities, on average, reached 70-80% of internet penetration, while rural regions have around 50%.

Mobile connections

Since 2012, China has been the world's largest smartphone market. By the end of 2021, mobile subscriptions reached 1.6 billion connections in China, with 60% of global 5G connections. Three giant mobile operators, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, control almost all mobile connection markets.

By the way, exactly with China Mobile, in 2013, Apple signed a deal to sell its devices. With such high popularity, it wouldn't be a surprise that 99.8% of all internet users in China use smartphones to go online. The market share of internet connections is divided as follows: 64.8% for mobile and 33.91% for desktop.

In the context of operational systems, the "war" between Android and iOS was won the first. Android has 76.7% of the market share, while iOS only 22.7%.

China web vs. worldwide connection

Unlike other countries, China prepared a lot of products just for its region: Weibo instead of Twitter, Youku instead of Youtube, and even TikTok, originally a Chinese application, has a separate version, Douyin. The Chinese users couldn't access most "western" apps and resources without a VPN. Thus, the most popular search engine, Google, has only 2% of the market share and has been replaced by Chinese Baidu. Chinese is the prevailing language in China's web environment. For instance, you can write the query in Baidu in English, but you will get all the results in Simplified Chinese.

You should consider such nuances before the localization, as using new (for your marketing team) products will significantly affect your promotion in this market. For instance, the most popular App stores for Android don't include well-known Google Play, but instead:

  • Huawei App Market Store (Market Share: 44.31%)
  • Oppo Software Store (Market Share: 19.69%)
  • VIVO App Store (Market Share: 17.22%)
  • Tencent My App Store (Market Share: 16.39%)
  • MIUI App Store (Market Share: 10.27%)

If you want to learn more about the Chinese app market, reading the overview is highly recommended.

How to localize your application for the Chinese market?

We understand how challenging it can be to navigate the process of localizing your app for the Chinese market. That's why our team has created a brief but comprehensive checklist to help make the process as seamless as possible.

Translation challenges

  1. Language peculiarities. Chinese is not the simplest language for adaptation. Find the local experts who can help you clearly transmit the meanings.
  2. Text size. Be ready to change your interfaces - Chinese text uses 30% less space than English.
  3. Be ready to localize the company name. Sometimes, the same sounds can have opposite meanings in other languages or do not transfer the original idea.

Interesting fact - the famous brands that changed their name in China:
- (Bǎoshíjié) — Porsche
- (Bēnchí) — Mercedez Benz
- (Kěkǒukělè) — Coca-Cola
- (Màidāngláo) — McDonald's
- (què cháo) — Nestle

Cultural challenges.

  1. Meanings of gestures, icons, colors. Chinese culture is very different from European. For instance, the blue color is a color of feminine identity.
  2. National holidays. Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), Labor Day, Dragon Boat Festival, etc., have a significant importance in the China culture. Remember about them and include them in the localization strategy.

Interesting fact: white flowers in China are symbols of death and mourning, without exception.

Date & time, and other formats.

Consider that the Chinese use year-month-day, Chinese family names often have only one character (it is vital in data validations), etc.

Interesting fact - 596.3 million people in China (42.9%) of the population share the same 10 family names!

How can Lingohub support a localization app for the Chinese market?

  1. Try on the Chinese translation to interfaces quickly. As we mentioned above, the difference in length between English and Chinese is around 30%. To fit the translation fast, Lingohub provides a Figma plugin. Push your text segments to Lingohub in a few clicks, translate (pr pre-translate with MT), and pull back.
  2. Collect the term base in the same UI with the Editor. The Lingohub glossary provides automated suggestions for translators during their work. The localization managers can set up matching case sensitivity and add context information like images, usage status, etc.
  3. Translation orders. No time to find a professional? Lingohub users can hire translators just inside the application. The system will share context information with linguists to make them included in your business better.

There are many features that Lingohub provides beyond what has been mentioned. These include style guides, discussions, repository integrations, labels, translation memory, and more. If you want more information about Lingohub, you can schedule a quick demo call with our team or try it out with a 14-day free trial.

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