Guest Blog: China’s Global Expansion – Is Speaking Chinese The Future Asset?

The idea that China is becoming a global powerhouse has made many countries rather uneasy and nervous about working alongside them when in reality their rising stature has made them more attractive than most would realize. However, for businesses trying to enter the Chinese market, learning the Chinese language is a necessity. Being able to speak and communicate in Chinese, will potentially give these businesses an advantage and hopefully achieve success.

It is true that China has quite large shoes to fill in the global foreign economy, but if there is something that this country is known for, it’s for its capability to save money, especially considering that China is known to have the world’s largest savings rate. Nevertheless, when it comes to its markets and economy, China is expanding even further. However, the Chinese government and businesses have to utilize their earnings effectively, in order for the country to grow in a sustainable manner.

Due to a lack of trust, the Chinese government and businesses have experienced issues with investing in other countries or attracting investors from abroad. However, the new “growth” mentality of China has changed the mindset of local businesses and brought new developments in terms of their global expansion. China is well on its way to becoming one of the largest economies in the world and is setting a new standard for doing international business.

Thus, cooperation with Chinese businesses is an asset for any company, whether in the U.S., Europe, or anywhere else in the world. Something that many companies around the world have to realize is that, if they are truly keen on working alongside the Chinese, is the issue of the language barrier, which is the largest and least emphasized barrier around.

Nowadays, a lot of countries have started to acknowledge the rise of Chinese development and have started considering any potential relationship business-wise; in terms of becoming the world’s largest exporter, it has surpassed even Germany and it’s even gone ahead and made itself the second-biggest economy to rival Japan. China is making a name for itself in almost every area of business.

With this information in mind, people might wonder whether it is perhaps wise to start learning Chinese. Moreover, one might wonder what are the benefits of knowing Mandarin?

That is truly the million-dollar question especially if we continue to see China’s improvement in the world economy as well as its current open-minded view on doing business with foreign countries and having foreign investors work with them.

Keep in mind that China amounts for one fifth of the world population, that means that Chinese is one of the world’s most spoken languages. With 1.2 billion people claiming that Chinese is their native language, Mandarin is seeing a significant increase in commercial markets and that is why a lot of business people are already signing up to learning the language. This in turn, will allow them to speak without barriers to Chinese business enterprises, thus fostering bilateral business ties.

Additionally, in a world that is almost constantly facing economic crises, it seems like China is flourishing while the rest of the countries are falling behind. Seeing how Africa is becoming a major trading partner for China, portrays the importance of becoming familiar with this language. As many Chinese companies have already started opening their offices abroad, they will need to employ Chinese speaking foreign citizens to staff their offices. This points to the importance of being fluent in Chinese as it represents more employment opportunities and advancements.

Someone who is bilingual or multilingual is bound to have an advantage over any competitors they come across. Currently China is known for having quite a lot of job opportunities for local and foreigners alike. Consequently, an employee looking for a new job in China, apart from being in possession of the necessary qualities, it can also be helpful to know some Chinese, this way you will have an advantage over the non-Chinese speaking candidates.

But even if you do speak some Mandarin, there are a lot of other legal procedures and different business hiring policies which you might struggle to understand and determine on your own, so the best way would be to leave it to a professional employment organization that does all the work for you and partners you with a company overseas.

Moreover, since China has a population of 1.3 billion people, it definitively has the largest pool of consumer market. Thus, for businesses that are consumer-oriented, China presents the ideal market to sell to. Once you have found your target market, tailoring and localizing your products for that specific group of people will require you to be very familiar with the Chinese language in order to get an advantage in the market. The inept use of the Chinese language can have profitable effects in your marketing campaigns as well as other related processes. That is why being fluent in Mandarin is of utmost importance in thriving in the Chinese market.

Essentially, you don’t need to be physically located in China in order to learn the language, especially when there are a lot of Chinese companies interacting and doing business with foreign businesses. Therefore, in order to keep the communication and relationship as solid as possible, it would be advisable for both parties to try learning each other’s languages.

There are still quite a number of businesses who do not consider Mandarin as the ultimate language that will overtake despite all the beneficial upsides to knowing it. China is growing exponentially every year and if they continue this path, they ought to become one of the most powerful economies in the world. Hence, cooperation’s aiming to do business with China should definitely consider that learning Mandarin will turn out to be quite beneficiary and would give them an edge over the Chinese market.

Even though being able to speak Mandarin is an advantage, because you will definitely stand out from any other potential candidates, it is not a guarantee for employment. The Chinese government seems a lot more relieved and comfortable knowing that their business knowledge is all homegrown, that is why it is more convenient for them to choose a Chinese employee rather than hiring a foreign one. However, many must look at the glass half-full and not half-empty. With a multilingual employee, any company can interact with more international consumers and not only that, but multilingual employees are also generally a lot better when it comes to multitasking.

In conclusion, learning the Chinese language can be rather beneficial because it not only allows better communication with foreign companies but it also allows local companies to develop a better approach to doing business be it within the country or outside.

Interested in learning more about business in China? Check out our cultural and practical language guide in doing business in China.

Why not experience doing business in China yourself? Find out more about our programs here!

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Hutong School is now operating as That’s Mandarin. Now you can expect the same great Chinese lessons with access to online Chinese learning platform NihaoCafe.