While Covid-19 may have put a dent in globalized business during 2020, a bounce-back looks to be just around the corner. With huge new markets opening up in Asia, across multiple industries, now is the time to prepare for when trade starts flowing again.
Professional translation puts companies at a significant advantage. Whether they’re looking to create resonant B2C marketing campaigns, localize their products, or seek new business development opportunities, they will always have a leg up on others who might be relying on English alone, or using flawed automatic translation services. Below are ten industries we think stand to benefit most from professional translation in 2021.
The Asia-Pacific region has dominated the gaming market for at least the last five years, and it continues to grow, unabated by the global pandemic. China alone this year increased its number of active gamers to a whopping 661 million, who collectively generate around $10bn revenue per quarter.
The name of the game is mobile in China, where around three-quarters of all gaming revenue is racked up on hand-held devices. In 2019, Game for Peace, a localized version of the wildly successful mobile shooter PUBG, shot to success. During the first three days of its availability, it racked up more than $14 million revenue. By employing the use of culturally-appropriate language, and a decent grasp of Chinese netizen slang, future game developers stand a chance of replicating some of that success.
E-learning and educational
Even before the pandemic, the e-learning industry was surging across Asia. Estimates were that the annual revenue of $35bn in 2019 was set to grow at 11% per year for the next seven years. When the pandemic hit, that growth rate shot through the roof, and investors were paying attention. As recently as last December, surveys found that the amount in funding rounds is six times higher than in 2019.
International companies have a storied run of success in education in China, with the likes of EF, Disney and Wall Street English creating vast enterprises that span the whole country. Now, as the market moves increasingly online, opportunities exist for new players, if they’re able to get their communications right.
For years, the flow of value in e-commerce was seen as directed from Asian manufacturing to international sales. Now, though, the e-commerce consumer market in Asia rivals that of any other region. In 2020, during the annual ‘singles day’ shopping event, Alibaba and JingDong surpassed $115bn of sales in just 11 days.
Overwhelmingly, now, Chinese and East Asian consumers are turning to social media-style shopping platforms for their buying recommendations. RED (xiaohongshu), for example, now has more than 300 million users. These platforms are driven by content marketing, and attention to detail – RED users are famed for their in-depth product research. For international sellers to compete, then, it’s simply a necessity that they have professional translation to communicate the details of their product.
Over the span of around 40 years, China gained a reputation as ‘the world’s factory’. While today’s China is becoming known for its high-tech and services output, manufacturing still remains the backbone of the economy. Opportunities for international manufacturing firms abound; the country is a treasure trove of factories.
Business relationships in China are not always formal and logistical. They are conducted on the basis of mutual understanding, amicability and personal connection. Negotiation never truly ends, even if a contract has been signed. It is therefore vital for communication to be clear, to show an understanding of customs and cultural norms. An accidentally offensive slip-up might cost a whole contract.
Besides Covid, two trends are dominating medicine in Asia, going into 2021. First, ageing populations across the APAC region are driving huge growth, around 11% annually, in the drugs market. Second, easing of regulations and a booming middle class are creating an increasing demand for private hospitals. Companies like Jiahui Health provide excellent examples of how a mixed approach, of both English and Chinese language communications, can garner success for international industry.
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Think you can direct-translate English market research questions into East Asian languages? Think again. Chinese and Japanese are highly contextual languages, where meaning is often implicit. One sentence could mean any number of different things, depending on the context within which it is used.
To get reliable reporting on marketing research, businesses must guarantee that their questions cannot be variously interpreted. The operative factor in this regard is often deeply cultural, far beyond what any automatic translator can parse.
When KFC first came to China, its famed slogan ‘finger-lickin’ good’ was translated into a sentence which in fact means ‘eat your fingers off’. When Pepsi rolled out its slogan ‘Come alive with the Pepsi generation,’ it was translated to ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead.’
Suffice to say, correct translation on packaging is very important. If we weigh the time and money it takes to professionally translate a simple catchphrase or product detail, versus the cost of a huge marketing blunder, or, worse, total product recall, it just doesn’t compare.
With fast-speed internet access sweeping Asia, and workplaces increasingly shifting operations online, there are now huge opportunities for cloud software providers to bring their solutions to new markets.
There are homegrown competitors in this marketplace, emanating mainly from Hong Kong but spread across all of East and South East Asia. However, it is a relatively new game, and savvy international companies stand a chance of breaking in if they’re able to communicate the benefits of their services effectively.
The growth of financial hubs in Asia is no secret. The rate at which they continue to grow, however, might be surprising to some. The 2020 Global Financial Centers Index placed six of the top 10 centers in the world in Asia; four of which are in China.
Now is the time for financial institutions and services to look East. Though it may seem a daunting task at first, with professional translation the process will inevitably be smoother.
The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing a construction boom, buoyed by phenomenal infrastructure spending and emboldened real estate markets.
While there is room for cautious optimism about the recovery of the construction markets in Europe and the US, most forecasters predict a sure-fire growth in Asia. It may be time for companies to dip their toes, but first impressions are everything. A company’s reputation hinges on the efficacy of its communication.
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Why 2021? Why specifically are the industries mentioned above in need of professional translation this year? If it’s not obvious, it should be. The global pandemic has lit a fire under the changes that were already well under way. With international markets having shifted so much over the last year, now is the time for international industry players to take note, and adapt.
HI-COM is a multilingual translation agency dedicated to providing professional translation and interpreting services to companies all over the world. Working in over 40 languages, HI-COM is the localization partner for hundreds of companies and brands. Contact us today for your free consultation!