Want to expand your business in China?
To do that, a Chinese version of your website is a must.
It’ll help you reach Chinese consumers without the issues of tough web regulations, and position you as a brand that takes China seriously.
But how do you create a Chinese website, exactly?
In this article, we’ll be answering that question and more, as we delve into the various options available to you when wanting to create a Chinese version of your website.
So, let’s get started.
What’s the best way to create a Chinese version of your website?
There are three different routes available when it comes to building a Chinese version of your website.
1. Create a Chinese landing page
Before investing in a fully-formed website, a landing page is a great way to test the potential of the Chinese market.
These are standalone web pages (attached to your current website) that exist for a very specific purpose. E-commerce sites and universities, for example, might use a landing page to attract more email sign ups or to promote a particular product or service.
Landing pages are usually accessed via a link in an email or online advert, and as such, offer a great opportunity to test the various marketing channels in China, and how to use them for the best ROI.
2. Add Chinese translated pages to your existing website
Chinese translations can be a step in the right direction if you want to cater to Chinese consumers, but don’t yet have the resources (or need) for a Chinese website.
To translate your existing website, you’ll need to hire a Chinese translator to make sure your copy is as accurate as possible. Otherwise, key information could get lost in translation — which is often the case with online tools like Google Translate.
You’ll also need to hire a web developer to reformat your website in Chinese, since the language change will impact its structure and appearance.
3. Create a standalone .cn website
A standalone .cn website is easily the best way to cater to Chinese users. It’ll be better for SEO, better for your brand awareness in China, and better for acquiring new Chinese consumers.
It’ll also show your Chinese users that you care about them, and are serious about meeting their needs.
What’s more, the Chinese internet is extremely regulated and will often block non-Chinese websites from being accessed. A .cn domain, however, should prevent this from happening, as it is favored and trusted by Chinese search engines.
But how do you create a Chinese website, exactly?
Well, once you’ve purchased your .cn domain name (which you’ll be able to do via most domain registrars) — you’ll then need to consider some of the following points:
How to create a Chinese website — 7 top tips to keep in mind
1. Host your website on a Chinese server
Since the internet in China is so restricted, a Chinese server is an absolute must.
It’ll not only help to prevent your website from being blocked in China, but will also ensure that users can access your site quickly and without any delays.
To host your website on a Chinese server, you’ll need to apply to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for an ICP (Internet Content Provider) license.
These are usually only granted to companies with a physical presence in China, although there are agencies that can help foreign companies secure one if they have the budget.
If you’re unable to secure an ICP, however, hosting your website on a server in Hong Kong is a great alternative, as it doesn’t require the same legal permission, yet will still increase the accessibility of your website to Chinese users.
2. Don’t use online translation tools
When writing copy for the Chinese version of your website, it’s important to make sure that your use of language is accurate and says what it needs to.
To do that, it’s always best to avoid online translation tools (like Google Translate) and hire a professional translator.
Because online translations are notorious for making mistakes, which could risk — at best — confusing your Chinese users and — at worst — altogether offending them if your messaging really misses the mark.
3. Use the language of your target market
Did you know that there are variations of the Chinese language?
People in mainland China, for example, use simplified Chinese, while those in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao typically use traditional Chinese.
This is really important to keep in mind, as you’ll want to match your language use to your target market to avoid any confusion and boost your appeal.
4. Optimize for Baidu, not Google
In China, Google represents just 3.49% of the search engine market, compared to Baidu’s huge 76.33%. For businesses in the west, this means playing by a whole new rulebook and optimizing to completely different requirements.
You’ll also have to prioritize mobile optimization, too, as almost 900 million people in China access the internet via their phones.
5. Offer Chinese payment options
If you’re offering e-commerce in China, you’ll need to include Chinese payment options on your website, such as AliPay, Union Pay, and WeChat Pay. These channels are trusted by Chinese consumers and are used by millions of users each day.
6. Localize your content and messaging
Creating a Chinese website requires more than just translating your existing website into a different language — it’s about creating new content that directly targets the Chinese market.
To do that, your Chinese website should:
- Include cultural and social references relevant to Chinese users
- Have space for comments and reviews, which is valued by Chinese consumers more than any other demographic
- Feature short-form video content, particularly if targeting young Chinese users
- Represent Chinese consumers as much as possible
Ultimately, you’ve got to create a new content strategy for your website — one that speaks to Chinese consumers. If you don’t, your website will fail to deliver the results you created it for.
7. Integrate Chinese social media sites
With almost 900 million social media users, China is the biggest social media market in the world. And that’s despite Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter being blocked in the country.
To tap into this market and appeal to socially-savvy Chinese consumers, your website should include links to official social media accounts on platforms like:
This will not only help to boost your following on these platforms, but will also prove to Chinese customers that you understand their culture, and can be trusted.
Top international brands with Chinese websites
Check out these popular brands that have invested in custom .cn Chinese websites that perfectly target Chinese consumers with slight alterations to their local websites:
5. MAC Cosmetics
So, how can you attract visitors to the Chinese version of your website?
Above all else, advertising on popular marketing channels in China is the best way to bring Chinese consumers to your website.
And to do just that, AdChina.io has got you covered.
We’re the one-stop-platform for advertising in China, giving businesses access to the most popular channels in one, easy-to-use interface.
From tough internet regulations to difficult language barriers, we remove the obstacles of advertising in China and help brands achieve their goals in the world’s biggest market.
With laser-focused targeting features, comprehensive reporting, budget optimization, and so much more.
Click here to book your free demo today to target the users your Chinese website needs to reach.