When exporting to China, don’t let your products get lost in translation

When exporting to China, don’t let your products get lost in translation article image

Clean, green, natural, fresh, safe – we hear these words all the time and they continue to resonate in the Chinese market.

Local Chinese ‘daigou’ (buying agents) have invented a new occupation in transporting packages of Australian-made baby formula, vitamins and other products in ever-growing numbers. Despite Chinese Government changing regulations, the trade goes on. 

There has never been such a transformational opportunity for Australian producers to carve new markets.  Nevertheless, competition is fierce and brands are many (3500 brands of infant formula on Chinese shelves compared to 350 for the rest of the world). This gives you an idea of the challenge.

Cross-border e-commerce has opened up new channels for even small producers. The key to succeeding is to get the message out with Chinese translation.

Your social media, labelling, website and marketing materials all have to be correct and culturally appropriate.

Brands must be developed and protected in the Chinese language to strike the right note and be memorable. The wrong image on a brochure can spell doom, as can a great brand name that, unfortunately, turned out not to be yours!

One of the most frequent translations we do – inexpensive and important for quality and export purposes – are product labels. Certified translations from Chinese to English are vital, particularly for dairy, wine, seafood, fruit and meat products.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to develop some key information in Chinese, but it is important to be strategic and to get it right or it certainly can cost in rejections and lost opportunities. 

Kate Ritchie is CEO of Chin Communications


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