2022/11/29 | 6 mins
Key points to consider while building your organization’s Chinese web presence
Having a dedicated business website is essential in today’s environment, and is especially important if your business has a global presence. Hosting your website should not be a problem, but in China, things are different. You do not have Google support because Chinese regulations block websites like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and other major websites. The Great Firewall of China (GFoC) is an apt name to describe the Chinese government’s proactive approach to regulating external influences over its cyberspace. Does it mean that foreign websites are not allowed in China? No, not at all. Chinese regulations allow foreign websites to operate in China, provided they do not violate the interests of its netizens. However, as China slows or blocks web traffic that does not comply with its regulations, foreign business entities should be careful when creating a Chinese web presence. Additionally, foreign business should check out the dos and don’ts of software development in China to work around the local norms and regulations to make their apps/websites accessible to Chinese netizens.
The items to check on your ‘China web presence checklist’
The Chinese web market is different from other global markets. Hence, all business brands should modify their approach when establishing their Chinese web presence and seek expert advice with professionals who have experience setting up and supporting businesses in the region.
1. Website loading time optimization
Loading time is a significant issue for foreign websites hosted outside China. Hosting a website in China is not possible without obtaining a local business registration. If your business is registered in China, you can apply for an ICP license issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Alternatively, you can consider hosting in nearby regions like Taiwan if you would like to host offshore instead of hosting on Chinese mainland servers. Hosting with a company having a data center in Taiwan can improve web loading speed significantly.
2. Get a .CN domain
Foreign businesses are now eligible to have .CN domains today, and acquiring one should be your top priority. Compared to .COM or .NET domains, Baidu prefers .CN domains and ranks them higher on their search engine results. It is advisable to register your .CN domain at the earliest possible time, or you might have to deal with Chinese Internet squatters if your brand gains adequate recognition. Also, you should not use subdomains or multiple domains. As you do not have access to Google in China, you have to depend on Baidu. Baidu dislikes subdomains, as it prefers to have different languages on separate domains. Therefore, you should not have an en.mysite.com for English and zh.mysite.cn for Chinese. A better alternative is to have a mysite.com as your main site and mysite.cn as your Chinese language equivalent. If you want to rank high on Baidu, avoid subdomains. There are certain reasons to keep a .CN domain and you can find detailed information about it here.
3. Stay away from blocked social media links
Landing pages for websites always have social media links. Generally, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are the favored links. However, these links do not work in China because the GFoC makes them inaccessible. Therefore, you should ensure not to have broken links that could significantly slow down website loading times. The ideal loading time should not exceed five seconds. Goclick China can help you with this. Another option is to integrate the share and like buttons to Chinese social media channels. When in China, you should have a Chinese social media presence on sites like WeChat, YouKu, or Weibo. WeChat does not have a link, but your Chinese website should display the official account’s QR code. The Chinese audience prefers to visit local social media, and linking to such accounts can help establish your Chinese web presence.
5. Using a robot.txt file is not advisable
While Google prefers websites using robot.txt files to communicate with search engine crawlers, Baidu does not favor its use. For your Chinese website, you should ensure setting specific instructions in the .htaccess file or your server settings. In addition, having a separate domain for your Chinese web presence enables you to avoid using the robot.txt file.
6. Host your website on a Chinese web server
Hosting your website on a Chinese web server is a sure recipe for success in China. First, you have to apply for an ICP license from the respective ministry. Alternatively, you can host it on a server in nearby locations like Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore region. Localizing your website is a sure way to comply with GFoC regulations. It ensures that your website does not get blocked, thereby restricting your access to the Chinese market.
7. Localization can clinch the deal
Offering chat services in Mandarin can get your business to the next level. However, localization does not mean translating your entire content into Chinese. Therefore, as a business venturing into the Chinese Internet scene, you should ensure the following:
- A Chinese-specific website is preferable
Chinese prefer to communicate in local Mandarin rather than English. Hence, businesses should invest in a specific Chinese website instead of translating the website content into Chinese using translation tools. Furthermore, avoiding subdomains ensures that your website ranks high on Baidu.
- Offering Chinese payment options
Chinese consumers trust local Chinese payment apps like WeChat Pay, AliPay, and Union Pay. Therefore, eCommerce businesses offering services in China are better off offering Chinese payment options to ensure greater patronage. China has a unique eCommerce and mobile payment ecosystem supported by Alipay, WeChat Pay, etc., that is easy to use and is driving digital transformation across China. Mobile payment solutions like Alipay, WeChat Pay, etc., allow people to perform easy transactions and facilitate a rapid movement of funds between bank accounts.
- Native translation for a Chinese website
Some foreign businesses cut corners by not using native translators for their Chinese websites. Instead, you should use professional translators to present the content in Chinese and have it proofread by native Mandarin speakers. Secondly, your website should offer live support in Mandarin. Chinese online customers feel comfortable speaking in their native language rather than in English. Having chat options that monitor the conversation and capture users’ data simultaneously is preferable.
Satisfy GFoC regulations and ensure against website blockage
The Internet offers an excellent medium for sharing information, and the Chinese government recognizes the influencing power of the Internet. Hence, it has certain restrictions by formulating a regulatory framework, and technical mechanism named the Great Firewall of China. The Chinese regulatory authorities are strict when dealing with inappropriate content spread on the Internet. The only way to build up an effective Chinese presence is to satisfy China’s internet censorship regulations. Here are some tips that could help you establish a robust Chinese presence for your business:
- Be careful with keywords – The GFoC blocks content that includes unacceptable keywords. Hence, businesses should ensure the web content and blogs remain free of sensitive content that could be termed offensive.
- Check out your webhost – Generally, foreign businesses use hosting providers outside China. However, such IP addresses are likely to be blocked by GFoC. Hence, it is better to have an ICP license and a CDN in China.
- Choose the appropriate ISP provider – China Unicom, China Mobile, and China Telecom operate broadly throughout China. Depending on your location, you can choose the ideal ISP. For example, China Telecom is the recommended service provider in South China, whereas China Unicom caters to North China, and China Mobile services the Central and Eastern regions.
- Avoid blacklisted keywords – Politics is a touchy subject, especially in China. It is better to stay away from commenting on political issues. Similarly, you should look for blacklisted keywords regularly and avoid using them in your content. You should remember that this list frequently changes. Baidu deindexes the blacklisted keywords and even blocks access.
Hosting a website in China is different from doing so in other countries. Businesses have to contend with stricter regulations, especially when it comes to website content. Hence, foreign businesses should be careful when building websites in China. If you are thinking of bypassing or ignoring GFoC regulations, you are selecting the wrong option. A better approach is to comply with the rules and gain a smooth entry into the Chinese market.
Tags: Doing business in China – Great Firewall of China – web technology in China
In order to achieve its communication goals in line with the strategic corporate goals and the target groups, the media and public relations team uses a mix of various communication tools.
Central topic management takes place in the newsroom. This is where topics are evaluated and selected and decisions are made about how to present them across all media, which communication tools to use, and how to communicate the topics efficiently and appropriately to specific target groups.
This includes the following tasks:
#team #management #communication #media #publicrelations
How do you build rapport and trust with a client who is skeptical or distrustful of your expertise?
As a consultant, you may encounter clients who are skeptical or distrustful of your expertise. They may question your credentials, challenge your recommendations, or resist your guidance. How do you build rapport and trust with such clients and overcome their objections? Here are some tips to help you deal with difficult clients in consulting.
The first step to building rapport and trust is to listen actively to your client’s needs, concerns, and goals. Show genuine interest and curiosity in their situation and perspective. Avoid interrupting, judging, or dismissing their opinions. Use open-ended questions, paraphrasing, and reflecting to demonstrate your understanding and empathy. Listening actively will help you identify your client’s pain points, expectations, and motivations.
Understand the reasons for such disbelief. It may be due to some past experiences or just a prejudice. Next steps may be planned accordingly.
The second step to building rapport and trust is to establish your credibility as a consultant. You need to show your client that you have the relevant knowledge, skills, and experience to help them solve their problems and achieve their objectives. You can do this by sharing your credentials, testimonials, case studies, or success stories. You can also use data, evidence, or logic to support your arguments and recommendations. However, avoid being arrogant, condescending, or overconfident. Instead, be humble, respectful, and honest.
I agree, that active listening is key to building rapport, and equally important is framing responses with intention. It’s important to communicate with confidence and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise so clients and partners begin to trust you. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t overpromise anything! Be realistic and transparent on how pain points will be handled. Be realistic and transparent on how pain points will be handled.
Collaborate and co-create
The third step to building rapport and trust is to collaborate and co-create with your client. You need to involve your client in the consulting process and make them feel valued and empowered. You can do this by soliciting their feedback, input, and ideas. You can also use tools such as brainstorming, workshops, or prototyping to generate and test solutions together. By collaborating and co-creating, you can foster a sense of ownership, commitment, and partnership with your client.
Communicate clearly and frequently
The fourth step to building rapport and trust is to communicate clearly and frequently with your client. You need to keep your client informed and updated on the progress, challenges, and outcomes of the consulting project. You also need to address any questions, doubts, or issues that may arise along the way. You can do this by using simple, concise, and jargon-free language. You can also use various channels such as emails, calls, or meetings to communicate effectively. By communicating clearly and frequently, you can reduce uncertainty, confusion, and misunderstanding with your client.
This is a strong start but it is a one size fits all solution and they rarely work consistently. To truly build trust and rapport, you need to understand the client and communicate to them in a way that honors their needs. Think about elevating the golden rule (simply put communicating to others in the way you would want to be communicated to) to communicating to your client in a way that honors them. So pay attention to the questions they ask and the pace of their responses, then you will know if they want more details, connection, speed, autonomy and their preferred mode of communication.
Deliver value and results
The fifth step to building rapport and trust is to deliver value and results to your client. You need to show your client that you can meet or exceed their expectations and help them achieve their desired outcomes. You can do this by following through on your promises, delivering high-quality work, and providing measurable and tangible benefits. You can also use feedback, evaluation, or testimonials to demonstrate your impact and value. By delivering value and results, you can prove your worth and competence as a consultant.
Appreciate and celebrate
The sixth and final step to building rapport and trust is to appreciate and celebrate your client. You need to show your client that you care about them and their success. You can do this by expressing gratitude, recognition, or praise for their collaboration, contribution, or achievement. You can also use gestures such as cards, gifts, or referrals to show your appreciation and loyalty. By appreciating and celebrating your client, you can strengthen your relationship and rapport with them.