It is certainly true that the Internet is dominated by the English language – it has been estimated that 75% of all Internet pages worldwide are written in English. But surprise, surprise – the world’s No. 1 language in terms of number of native speakers is also the most difficult to read – Chinese, with about three times as many native speakers (and readers) as English. China has the second greatest number of Internet users in the world (behind only the United States), and its Internet market is one of the world’s fastest-growing. Furthermore, its buoyant economy is impossible to ignore – every year millions are added to its relatively affluent middle class. You’d be surprised at how many Chinese can read English – small in proportion to total population, but large in number. You might also be surprised at how many Chinese yuppies (“Chuppies”) carry a Visa (the credit card, not the kind of visa that is stamped on a passport!).
Do you have a product that might sell well in China? That’s a hard question to answer, but as a one-sentence primer, affluent Chinese gravitate towards any product with name-brand appeal or snob appeal, and any product that is closely associated with the United States (sarcastically dubbed the “Mickey Mouse Syndrome” by certain envious economic rivals). If you are going global, you cannot afford to ignore China – and if your business has a website, it should be searchable in China.
Following are the URLs for site submission to ten Chinese search engines. The sites are all written in Chinese, but if you can get past the language barrier, anything is possible…
Top 10 Chinese Search Engines
1. Baidu: http://baidu.com/search/url_submit.htm
2. Sina: [http://iask.com/guest/add_url.php]
3. Sohu: [http://db.sohu.com/regurl/regform.asp?Step=REGFORM&class=]
4. Yahoo China: http://cn.yahoo.com/docs/info/suggest.html
5. Google China: http://www.google.com/intl/zh-CN/add_url.html
6. Sobao: [http://search.sobao.com/Computers_and_Internet/Personal/]
7. Tianwang: http://home.tianwang.com/denglu.htm
8. China-Holiday: [http://china-holiday.com/newterms/hall/it/sort.asp?sortid=259]
9. Wangluobing: [http://www.net7b.com/net7b_/denglu/index.asp] o
10. Sunwukong: http://www.sunwukong.cn/add.php
The first six of the foregoing are major players, but the rest are marginal and may well be out of business by the time you read this (then again, you never know…).