Why Collaboration is Key When China Brands Go Global

welocalize April 18, 2018

China-based companies are intensively pursuing the goal of establishing their brands in other countries. In 2017, China spent over $200B to acquire companies abroad. Chinese internet giants Tencent and Alibaba have aggressively diversified their business portfolios with multi-billion dollar investments in overseas acquisitions.

An outcome of this globalization is the marked increase in demand forecast for language services in China. Projected revenue for language services in Asia is expected to grow to US$3.97 billion in 2018, as reported by Common Sense Advisory Research. Even with a slowdown in overseas investment growth in 2018, mainly due to increased US protectionism and stricter Chinese capital controls, the demand continues to grow for the integration of language, culture, and regulatory content to support Chinese brands global promotion.

At TAUS Asia 2018 Conference in Beijing, I spoke about why collaborative effort between non-local and local language service providers (LSPs) is critical to the success of China brands’ global strategy. Collaboration is key to enabling Chinese companies to grow and engage with audiences globally because consumer expectations are wildly different and diverse once outside the domestic markets. For Chinese brands entering Europe and North America, there is significant cultural adaptation of branded content and in-depth market research on the habits and preferences of target demographics. To launch brands and products overseas, this requires a wide range of content and localization talent, enabling technologies, and operational scale.

In my discussions at TAUS, I spoke with representatives from Alibaba and Huawei. One of the key challenges they encounter is the sheer number of vendors they work with to support global requirements. First, there are over 80,000 translation agencies in China, and a lack of transparency in skills and quality standards to identify qualified resources. Second, large brands often work with over 100 vendors located across different regions. These brands are looking for a solution to manage the complexity and drive efficiencies.

The hope is that a comprehensive solution will facilitate the streamlining, based on a centralized program management model enhanced by local linguistic talent and subject matter experts. When local language agencies partner with international LSPs, the collaboration allows each to tap into the strengths of the other partner. Delivering joint value-added services can create local expertise augmented by global operational scale through the sharing of the benefits of technology – machine translation (MT), translation memory (TM), translation management systems (TMS) and client portals. Together, the partners can help streamline the process, increase productivity, and facilitate better business value for the client.


Michael Lv is sales manager for Welocalize Asia.

Connect with Michael at Michael.lv@welocalize.com