Chinese language on the internet in China

Chinese language

Chinese language on the internet check list

Chinese language Summary of Options

For your company website, the following should be considered;


Performance Improvement


Do Nothing

No change


Add additional information page in Chinese to your existing internet site.

Gives the Chinese an insight to business and Increase your Chinese search engine ranking

A few days’ work

SEO data transaction. Please see, Chinese SEO

Increase your Chinese search engine ranking’s

A few days’ work and on-going maintenance

Add Search engines results page (SERP) to webmasters in Chinese

Increase your Chinese search engine ranking’s

A few days’ work and on-going maintenance

Multi-media translation e.g. Sub titles etc.

Allows a better understanding of your media contents

A few days’ work

Key products and services transaction

Increase your Chinese search engine ranking’s

A few days’ work and on-going maintenance

Create marketing website and point it back to your local internet contents

Good feed for the Chinese search

One week's work and on-going maintenance

Fully translate your website

Greatly increase your Chinese search engine ranking’s

One month's work and high on-going maintenance


The exception to the above options, Chinese social media.

Chinese social media content is normally entered in Chinese. You can enter your contents in your local language. There is no method in Chinese social media platforms for Chinese user to automatically translate contents from your local language into Chinese. Using your language in the Chinese social media will greatly reduce the opportunity for your content being followed.

Our recommendation, Chinese social media contents is entered and maintain in Chinese.

Chinese language Background

The Chinese language is the one of the most confusing subjects to resolve in publishing / selling on the Chinese market.

Chinese different language types

For the basis of trading in China, there are three groups of languages:

  • Local language - most cities / regions have their own language. In most cases this is not a local dialect. They are languages in their own right. Whilst the characters are common between the languages in most cases, simplified Chinese, in the same way we share the Latin characters between most of European language.

People between cities / regions will not understand each other’s languages.

  • Mandarin is the main language of China. This was started by the emperors of China and fully implemented by Chairman Mao. “One country needs one common language”.

Mandarin was used as it was already the language of government.

  • Hong Kong, Taiwan and many areas of southern Asia use the traditional Chinese for their local language; e.g. Cantonese and Taiwanese. These two languages share a common written language but is spoken differently in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
    This also includes areas of the world where Chinese people emigrated to prior to 1950’s e.g. California, USA.

Most people in China speak Mandarin, often their local language and increasing numbers speak English as part of their international language education at school and college. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million people learning English in any given year.

There are three forms of written Chinese language, partly covered in the above:

  • Traditional Chinese – The original written language of China. The traditional writing of this language is an art and takes many years to prefect. It is still used in Cantonese and Taiwanese languages.
  • Simplified Chinese – is the written language of China.
  • Romanisation systems – There have been many ways developed for writing Chinese in Latin (European) characters. It is not practical to have a key board for Chinese characters, there are too many of them.

Pingyin is the standard which has been adopted by the internet. Most Chinese people under the age of 40 years use Pingyin. If you were schooled over 25 years ago you would have been taught one of the other systems (like Pingyin).

Pinyin enables you to type in Latin characters and then select on your PCs, mobiles, etc, the appropriate Chinese character from a drop-down list. While this may sound like a slow why of typing, it is very fast, possible faster than typing English. To learn more about Pingyin, there is a very good summary on the BCC website

Automatic translation to Chinese

Most browsers for the last 5 years, have a built in APP to translate internet content.

Chinese people are not put off by internet content in a foreign language. The translation software used in China, in browsers, mobiles, etc, has been developed to translate Chinese to and from most foreign languages.

Whatever languages is on your internet site, do not use automatic translation. The Chinese reader will not know that they are reading an automatic translation. Your Chinese reader will see a poorly translated content which will reflect badly on your company.

The Chinese reader will use an automatic translation as when needed, e.g. Baidu automatic translation. In doing so, the Chinese reader will know that the Chinese language presented has been automatically translated and does not reflect on badly on your company.

If time and resources allow, have a Chinese speaker read your internet content in Chinese using Baidu automatic translation. Check for any major issues in automatic translation Chinese language. Where major translation issues are identified in the Chinese language, look at changing your local language content.

Automatic translation will not help your racking in the Chinese search engines.

Who do use to translate?

Chinese translation can be very technical. A word for word translation can leave you with a translation which is technically correct and a meaningless description of your business, products and services.

Many Chinese people will not necessary understand your business. When translating will do a word for word description and guest what your business is about.

We recommend using a translator from your own country. Many colleges and universities are producing good Chinese translators who will have a far better understanding of your business.

Once you have a translation, ask a few Chinese people what they understand about your business, products, etc. Do not ask if it is correct as it will not be a word for word translation.

Chinese language translation options

  • Do nothing – No Chinese transaction

Leave your internet content in your local language. The two internet languages of the Chinese internet are Chinese and English. It your internet content is not in English or Chinese except very little internet traffic from China.

If your internet content is in English then except, provided your Chinese search SEO is setup, to receive internet traffic from China.

  • Create Chinese page – An addition page of Chinese data

An additional page to your internet content, a “Welcome Page” in Chinese with the key elements of your business explained.

Provided the Chinese SEO data has been created, this will help your website be indexed in Chinese search engines

  • Translate your SEO data into Chinese

Create a copy of your website and translate the SEO data.

Combine with a Chinese domain and your internet contents hosted in China / Asia this should increase your Chinese internet traffic speed in China.

For more information, please see Chinese SEO.

  • Chinese search engine SERP

Baidu Search Engine Result Page (SERP), like Google Rich text, greatly supports your search engine ranking.

  • Multi-media translation

If your business has multi-media, add Chinese subtext etc.

Whilst automatic Chinese translation will work on your internet content text, it does work on spoken words and in the main not on multi-media conten

  • Key product and service translation

The translation of your key internet products and services.

Very useful approach when promoting a key business activity. This is also required if you are using Chinese Tmalls.

 For more information, please see Chinese SEO.

  • Chinese marketing website

Creating an internet marketing / brochure in Chinese and point the key products and services in the Chinese contents back to your overseas pricing / on-line cart.

This approach is far better than creating full translation of internet content provided you keep the descriptions to the minimum so not creating a large overhead in translation maintenanc

  • Full translation of your internet contents

This option is not recommended unless you have an existing customer base in China who demand a site in Chinese.

Remember, that the Chinese have the automatic translation option in their browse.

last modified: August 2019