THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHINESE WEBSITE AND ENGLISH WEBSITE CONSTRUCTION
The difference between an English website and a Chinese website is not just the difference between using Chinese and using English languages. Due to the complex shapes of Chinese characters and the relatively backward design of Chinese fonts on computers, it is more difficult to design Chinese web pages than English web pages. Regardless of the uniqueness of Chinese fonts, simply copying English web design methods will often reduce the legibility of Chinese web pages (called readability in English).
To launch into China, you will need to adopt Chinese technology. To get a website in China, you will need to first get an ICP License – which requires a Chinese registered business – to get the official stamp of approval. Next, your website should be hosted in China. You need to make sure of the ins and outs of Chinese websites – there are some modifications needed to code and only experience can provide these requirements.
You must also make sure your website is translated into Chinese for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and your ecommerce system can take payments from Chinese providers – most people in China don’t use a Visa or MasterCard.
THE GREAT FIREWALL: WHY CHINESE CONSUMERS CAN’T SEE YOUR WEBSITE
Before we get into our many If you have been to China and tried to access any popular Western websites like Facebook or Google, you may have been surprised to discover they were blocked. This is because of the Great Firewall of China, which is part of a rigid regime that heavily regulates the internet. This includes the Chinese Government blocking any western websites or social media platforms as a measure to ‘protect’ Chinese citizens.
One of the reasons the firewall was created was to make allow consistent surveillance of Chinese citizens. It also acts as a censor to any unwanted sites – both within China and outside of it. It works by blocking and filtering sites that the Chinese communist party views as uncontrollable or ‘dangerous’ in nature. Most Western sites (especially social media platforms like Facebook and search engines like Google) fit into this category.
For foreign companies that want to enter the Chinese market, it is important to work with experienced companies like L’Agence to navigate around Chinese restrictions, particularly as these restrictions are always increasing.
AFTER THE WEBSITE IS BUILT, IT IS IMPORTANT TO UPDATE AND MAINTAIN
Website updates and maintenance should not be limited simply by replacing the text. It should take the business dynamics and development direction of the enterprise into full consideration, and then combine the existing website planning structure to make corresponding improvements quickly. The promotion of every new project, price fluctuations, and internal structural adjustments of an enterprise should not just be promoted on social media channels while neglecting your website. Remember your website is your brand Identity.
ACTING FAST & UNDERSTANDING NEW TRENDS IS IMPORTANT
Speed is one of the defining features of this fascinating market. The speed local Chinese competitors take products to market is astounding. Western business needs to understand this, it is a fast-paced market with a high demand for quality international products but with trends ever-changing, you need to capitalize on such current demand. You need a local partner on the pulse in China. New trends are always developing.
DEFINE YOUR BRAND STORY
Successful product and services providers in China need to develop a compelling “Brand Story” which will appeal to Chinese customers and clients in a crowded, noisy and competitive market. There really is no limit to how much time, effort and expense can be involved in getting this right, and many examples of high-profile brands and companies who consistently get it wrong.
So, what are the critical elements involved in developing a compelling “Brand Story”? Here are some thoughts for foreign companies to consider whilst doing their research:
- Longevity – long term, historical, with a rich and deep cultural heritage/background
- Innovative – includes unique cutting-edge design and/or engineering elements
- Prestigious – appeals to aspirational and motivated consumers with a big dream and/or vision for themselves, their business and/or their family
- Elegance – exudes quality, class, and premium positioning
- Personal – reflects traditional family values and lifestyle
- Fresh – new, existing, and shiny which hasn’t been seen before
- International/Local – skillfully articulates the benefits, features, and strengths of the country of origin
- Chinese – in Chinese language with appropriate symbolism, nuance, respect, and cultural awareness
Developing a successful “Brand Story” is more of an ‘art’ than a ‘science’, although it consistently trips up large foreign players who can boast high brand equity and recognition in their home country and/or other international markets but end up getting it wrong in China.
In China, reputation one of the most important things. It is really complicated to manage your e-reputation in China because with social media so widespread, everyone can have a public opinion on everything. Making sure customers are talking about your brand through these channels in a positive manner will build your brand profile and result in greater sales.
Working with an experienced marketing agency such as L’Agence will make the process easy, designing strategies effective for the Chinese consumer.