SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

Sell more: Localize into Chinese

[fa icon="calendar"] January 10, 2017 / by Margarita Núñez

If you are considering whether or not to localize your product or service into Chinese, you need to figure out a few things first. For example, are there enough potential customers for your offering? Do they use the internet? Which devices do they prefer to use? And these questions are only the beginning...


China has a population of 1,381 billion inhabitants and it is the world’s most populous country. With a GNI per capita of US$ 7,820 and representing over a quarter of the world's population, localizing into Chinese represents an exciting market opportunity for businesses.

Did you know that Chinese is also spoken in:

  • Taiwan, Republic of China with a population of 22.4 million
  • Singapore, with a population of 3.6 million
  • Indonesia with a population of 255 million, and about 20% of those people are ethnic Chinese
  • Various other countries; it's estimated that there are about 100 million Chinese speaking people scattered around the world

So do the math and if the numbers stack up, then localize.

Internet Usage

If you are trying to sell an app or a service that relies on good internet usage then you need to research the latest figures and see if your product or service will have the support needed to succeed.

The 2016 figures below seem to support the idea that there is plenty of growth in internet uptake and usage by the Chinese population.


Internet Usage and Population Statistics:

pic china telecoms2.jpg


And don’t forget that Baidu is the top Search Engine in China, not Google!

Use of Computers

It is also very important to research the use of computers among the population, especially if you are selling a product or service that requires these.

The Utilization Rate of Computers by Companies:


use of computers in China2.jpg





If you are going to sell an app then thorough research of the Chinese Smartphone market share should be a top priority.

Four important facts to consider:

  • Smartphone sales account for 73.2% of all mobile phones sold in China
  • 71% of smartphones are Android and only 12.9% are iOS
  • 82% of smartphone users are between 16 to 24 years old
  • 74% of male and 54% of female mobile phone users own a smartphone



Simplified Chinese vs. Traditional Chinese

Once you make the decision to invest in translation into Chinese, then the next question is, which one? Because, did you know that there are two versions of Chinese?


Geographically speaking, Simplified Chinese today is used in China and Singapore, whereas Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

This is VERY important for you to understand!

  • If you intend to sell your product into mainland China then you need to request Simplified Chinese from your language service provider.
  • If you are going to target Taiwan and Hong Kong, then you need to order Traditional Chinese.


If you would like to read more about Chinese Localization, read our most popular blog here.

Would you like to see how your product or service looks like in Chinese?


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Topics: International Business Strategy

Margarita Núñez

Written by Margarita Núñez

Margarita is SimulTrans' Director, Global Marketing. She spearheads SimulTrans' Digital Marketing Strategy by creating, managing, and publishing content for inbound and outbound campaigns across multiple channels. Margarita has more than 25 years of experience in sales and management for the localization industry. She has been involved in many localization organizations, currently serving as a Program Director for Membership for Women in Localization, a non-profit global organization.