China is the fastest growing economy in the world. Yet barriers exist to American company’s full participation in the booming Chinese economy. These barriers are technology, language and communications. SEO might be one business model to use to get into the Chinese economy, but Chinese translation will be required. American businesses will need to learn Chinese or buy English to Chinese translation services in order to become successful.
China is now poised to become the number one trading partner of the United States. With a population of over 1 billion people and an economy that has been growing in double digits for the last few years, China has shifted aside Japan, and within months rather than years, will replace the current number one exporter of goods to America.
As these exports have grown, American legislators have been growing increasingly impatient with the trade imbalance with the Asian powerhouse and Congressional appeals to increase America’s business with China have increased in volume. Some of this clamor may be diminished with the American contribution to the Chinese building boom as U.S. construction companies and engineering firms exploit these ready-made business opportunities. But even in these areas, China is closing the gap and with 300,000 new scientists and engineers graduating from Chinese colleges and technical institutes each year, the search for new business ventures with China will only grow more frantic.
One avenue that some savvy American entrepreneurs are trying to follow is the technological route. But in order to do that, they have to overcome three distinct barriers that stand in their way – and a billion-person marketplace. Those challenges can roughly be defined as technology, language and communications.
The first one is technology. Despite China’s rapid growth they do not have the technical infrastructure to take advantage of the latest waves in technology. The Internet is still new and not well accessed by the mass of the Chinese population and Internet service providers face a series of administrative and bureaucratic control issues before they can establish an effective presence on the Chinese landscape.
The second barrier is language. Despite the Chinese capacity to learn additional languages like English, their ability to communicate in Mandarin Chinese and hundreds of local dialects make any attempt to market to the Chinese people a rather futile task.
The third barrier is communication. Technology and language are two main components of communication and this makes the business of doing business with China an extremely frustrating one. Companies must have a Chinese-speaking capacity before they can tap into its potential. (If a business does not have that capacity, it will have to purchase English to Chinese translation services to even begin to compete.)
Companies that can overcome that barrier and learn to speak to the Chinese in their own language stand to reap enormous financial gains from the next Chinese growth explosion. Some people feel that one of the access points for American business people who want to gain a foothold in China might be the new wave business of Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
Small- to medium-sized SEO enterprises may be able to leap over the technology, language and communication hurdles that face giant American corporations and speak directly to the entrepreneurial nature of the Chinese people. This can only happen, however, if the materials and advertisements of the American SEO companies are in a format and language that allow their Chinese counterparts to understand. That will mean that all materials will have to be given a quality English to Chinese translation treatment and then must be communicated to the Chinese via a technology that they can access and comprehend.
None of these challenges will be easy to overcome, but the very first successful SEO business people who seep through the new Great Wall of China and reach the Chinese people in their mother tongue will be very rich indeed.