Choosing between Traditional vs Simplified Chinese for lead generation in Greater China might seem complicated but really selecting which form of Chinese comes down to marketing strategy.
Knowing which type of Chinese to use or how to utilize both in online business practice can open up avenues for your company to reach many more consumers and generate more business connections in Greater China. Chinese speakers are not just based in the mainland Chinese jurisdiction, but expand into Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
China Gravy introduces you to the background of the traditional Chinese characters and the rise of the simplified form. Plus, we give you the tools to better understand how to implement these character sets into online marketing practices for better lead generation results.
Traditional vs Simplified Chinese targeted language usage online will make sure your business connects with the wider scope of Chinese culture found throughout the globe.
The History of Traditional vs Simplified Chinese
Chinese is an ancient language that has continued to adapt through the centuries. Since the invention of paper in China in 105 CE, Traditional Chinese has evolved through the different dynasties of China and the spread of the language to other geographical locations in Asia. In fact, Chinese characters are the oldest writing systems that are still in practice today.
Many Chinese intellectuals supported the switch from Traditional Chinese to a more simplified form that uses fewer strokes and could improve the literacy rates of the Chinese population. National education as well as classic works of literature would be more accessible to a greater number of people. At the time, the illiteracy rate was more than 80% whereas today the literacy rate is close to 99.6%.
In October 1949, the Chinese Language Character Reform Association was founded in mainland China with the establishment of a committee following. In the 1950s, the State Council issued several documents that helped the transition to Simplified Chinese in mainland China, including the ‘Plan of Character Simplification’ and ‘List of Simplified Characters.’
The usage of Traditional vs Simplified Chinese basically comes down to the geographical and historical connections among jurisdictions in Asia.
When to Use Traditional vs Simplified Chinese: The Geographical Solution
The question of Traditional vs Simplified Chinese comes down to which markets are you trying to target? Lead generation uses different platforms and Chinese characters depending on the geographical market of your consumers. This also means understanding the linguistic differences in the types of vocabulary that Chinese consumers use in different regions.
When to Use Simplified Chinese Characters
If you plan to do business in mainland China or target Chinese speakers in Singapore, then use Simplified versions of Chinese. It is important to keep in mind that while consumers have access to many Western platforms or websites in Singapore, businesses will need to adjust their lead generation tactics for mainland China to prevent issues with the Great Firewall of China.
Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn do not work in China. The main platforms for mainland China are Baidu, Toutiao, Douyin, Weibo, and WeChat.
Read more about the 9 social media platforms you can use to reach Chinese consumers throughout Asia or how to make a website that works in China.
When to Use Traditional Chinese Characters
When doing business in Taiwan and Hong Kong, lead generation can be done in Traditional Chinese using Google Ads, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These platforms are more familiar for Western businesses and many of the same marketing strategies apply when applying them for Chinese lead generations.
However, there are some language-specific factors that lead to greater success when using Traditional vs Simplified Chinese to target the audiences in these jurisdictions that go beyond just straightforward translation of your original content.
Some of the same marketing tips for mainland China can be utilized to craft an effective and engaging strategy for reaching consumers in Taiwan and Hong Kong but can be used on Western social media platforms and adjusted for Traditional Chinese. Knowing how to connect with Chinese culture and optimizing content that is valuable for that particular audience translates to better lead generation results.
Reasons for Using Traditional Chinese when Doing Business in Taiwan or HK
Many Chinese consumers are located in the jurisdictions of Taiwan and Hong Kong, both with well-established developed markets for companies looking to benefit from entry into Asia.
Not only is there a large consumer base interested in Western products and services but also has advanced infrastructure to facilitate international business models.
Taiwan and Hong Kong’s market
Taiwan has a population of 23.6 million people who are internationally savvy and regularly travel or search for global brands. In 2020, Taiwan had a GDP per capita of 54,020 USD, one of the largest in the world. The median salary is 4,600 USD monthly and 55,380 USD annually (129,000 NTD monthly / 1.55 million NTD annually).
Moreover, adding to the considerations for Traditional vs Simplified Chinese marketing, Taiwanese consumers have been seen as extremely brand loyal while still being interested in a range of new products and services.
This market has been slow to see movement from Western businesses taking an active approach to reaching this large and loyal consumer base.
Doing business in Taiwan could put your business at the forefront of the competition while also vastly succeeding in lead generation campaigns for profit. Social media activity and online shopping are among the top hobbies for Taiwanese consumers daily and accessing Western platforms such as Facebook and Google Ads pose no barriers.
Taiwan also hosts a range of IT services, such as Google which recently decided to add a third big data center in the jurisdiction, and developed a significant semiconductor industry. In addition, the market has many HNWIs that are interested in global services and products.
A short distance from Taiwan is Hong Kong, another significant Chinese market of over 7.5 million people that use Traditional Chinese. Over 93% of Hong Kong is considered ethically Chinese while the remainder is broken into a wide variety of international consumers.
Extensively connected with the international community, Hong Kong’s GDP per capita has been increasing over the last few years. In 2020, it reached 58,165 USD. Often cited as the most connected consumer market online, e commerce in the jurisdiction has flourished at an unprecedented rate. The median salary is 4,720 USD monthly and 56,625 USD annually (36,600 HKD monthly/ 439,00 HKD annually).
Further, Hong Kong consumers seek quality and price competitiveness, largely preferring international products to local ones, often equating Western companies with social status.
As a company wondering about the benefits of using Traditional vs Simplified Chinese, doing business in Taiwan or Hong Kong could offer a valuable starting place for the Asian market and understanding the cultural aspects that make for successful lead generation on platforms familiar for Western companies.
Types of Businesses that Could Benefit from Targeting These Jurisdictions
While many companies can benefit from making the switch to Traditional Chinese lead generation, immigration companies and technology manufacturing companies can find great advantages in using Traditional vs Simplified Chinese to target consumers and gain business connections in Greater China.
Both jurisdictions offer many possibilities for relocation services for businesses and individuals. As the political climate of other jurisdictions becomes more unstable and the demand for international travel or business networking rises, immigration companies play a critical role in providing avenues for internationally-minded movement.
There are also ample opportunities to cater to HNWIs seeking immigration-related services and products as both jurisdictions have wealthy individuals with global focuses.
Oftentimes, Taiwan and Hong Kong are overlooked by these companies, opening up a unique, untapped market for expansion.
Another thriving industry is technology manufacturing, such as semiconductors in Taiwan. Known for the advanced technology and highly-developed infrastructure, many Asian technology companies have taken advantage of Taiwan’s business environment.
However, few Western companies have done the same, whether in targeting potential consumers or forging business partnerships. Technology-based Western businesses can see gains from entering into the Taiwanese market and benefitting from the advancement of the industry seen in the jurisdiction.
Further, Hong Kong is a prime location for fulfillment and logistics companies as the distance to mainland China is ideal and Hong Kong is a free trade zone, which means that no taxes are imposed on imports or exports.
Moreover, Greater China provides opportunities to not have to weigh the options of Traditional vs Simplified Chinese for lead generation and online networking solutions. While different social media, vocabulary usage, and lead generation social media platforms are necessary to access the various jurisdictions, a company could easily do both with the help of a multilingual marketing agency such as China Gravy.
For businesses wanting to start with platforms they are already using in Western jurisdictions, then doing business in Taiwan and Hong Kong is a great initial step, only adjusting for cultural differences and the preferences of Chinese consumers.
Using Traditional vs Simplified Chinese – The Takeaway
Knowing when and how to use Traditional vs Simplified Chinese not only helps your business reach more consumers but also assists you in entering into one of the largest business environments in the world.
For lead generation in mainland China, remember to use Simplified Chinese on Baidu, Toutiao, Douyin, Weibo, and WeChat. Taiwan and Hong Kong offer lead generation in Traditional Chinese on more familiar Western social media platforms LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google Ads while Singapore requires marketing on these same platforms to be in Simplified Chinese.
Whether doing business in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Singapore, adopting language principles for your business gets you further by providing a large market of the world that is often overlooked by Western companies. The consumers and partnership of Greater China can lead your business to greater success!
The multilingual marketing experts at China Gravy can help you craft a language strategy fit for your business goals as well as decide on whether Traditional vs Simplified Chinese or incorporation of both is the right for your company.
We can also deliver language-specific marketing and website content for the success of your company throughout Asia. Contact our professionals about opening up your business to a world of valuable consumers and business networks.