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How to Localize Apps for the Chinese Market丨Wiitrans

According to a study by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China has the most number of smartphones users in the world. As of December 2018, there were 817 million mobile Internet users in the country, making China a market to reckon with for app developers worldwide. Wiitrans is a Chinese language service provider (LSP), and we know all too well that localization strategies can vary by country. With our wealth of experience on the ground in China, we'll share with you what to look out for when localizing your app into Chinese.   iOS or Android? Before launching their app in a new country, app developers often have to decide on the platform of choice. Due to the limitations posed by budgets, technical difficulties and the actual operations of an app, compatibility with both iOS and Android is often a luxury. For your reference, the figure below shows how iOS and Android apps have been performing in China. App developers will find that listing and ensuring ASO for an iOS app in China is pretty much the same as in other parts of the world. Although the number of iOS users pales in comparison to the Android user base, these consumers have a strong spending power. Developers who look at profit margins rather than market coverage and downloads may want to take this route. 1

 (Chinese iOS users in 2018)

Although Android users are definitely in the majority, the fact that Google Play is blocked in China has resulted in the lack of a centralized Android app store. As a result, you have to approach each app store individually to list your Android app with them, and decide if you prefer an exclusive or joint launch. This method would suit app developers who seek to attain download volume and coverage. We recommend the following Android app stores: Universal app stores: Tencent Myapp App Store, 360 Mobile Assistant and Baidu Mobile Assistant Mobile phone brand app stores: Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo and OPPO   4 tips for app developers
  1. Coding: Unicode (UTF-8) encoding supports all Chinese characters and facilitates multilingual localization.
  2. Server: Host your app on a Chinese server, otherwise local users will frequently encounter latencies and disruptions.
  3. Payment methods: Support local payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.
  4. Integrate third-party social logins: QQ, WeChat and Weibo social logins and links should be included.
  Localization is more than translation App developers overseas often believe that expanding into the Chinese market is simply about translating their apps into Chinese—this could not be further from the truth. Chinese users have unique characteristics and behavior, which should be accommodated accordingly during translation to attract customers and boost downloads and sales. As such, an experienced local Chinese LSP will be key to your strategy. At Wiitrans, we look at the following aspects during app localization:
  1. Before a project even begins, Wiitrans' engineering team locks all tags and wildcards in the content of the app. The content for translation and reference materials will then be sent to linguists in our app localization team.
  2. Linguists who are experienced in app localization projects are selected in order to ensure that features of the target segment and cultural habits of Chinese users are catered to.
  3. With translations, the Chinese text is often 30% shorter than the English. Wiitrans will verify any character limitations with the client to make the corresponding adjustments to the translations to address design and layout requirements, as well as prevent overflowing or overlapping text.
  4. We look at the details: In China, dates are written in year-month-day, and time is represented in the 12- or 24-hour format; the currency is the Renminbi, a comma is used as the thousands separator, and the metric system of measurements is followed; in addition, last names precede first names.
  5. Addresses start with the country, and are followed by the province, city, street name, unit number, and so on.
  6. Although Arabic numbers are used similarly in Chinese, figures are sometimes expressed in words in business and financial contexts.
  1. As app localization projects often require frequent, small-volume updates, Wiitrans builds translation memories (TMs) and glossaries for our clients to enable them to enjoy significant discounts when there are repetitions and close matches in the content of updates. Besides reducing translation costs, the consistency of translations is also maintained.
  2. We also take part in the LQA testing process to identify potential issues and make the necessary revisions, which maintains the accuracy of translations and the aesthetics of UIs.
There's no time for second thoughts. China is an evolving market, and Wiitrans is ready to meet your app's Chinese localization needs. Wiitrans has linguists in over 40 languages, many of whom are experienced in localizing apps, working hand-in-hand with our team of professional editors, proofreaders, QAers and LQA testers, and project managers. We take care of the linguists, technology and processes for you, so your app will be localized to a high quality, draw in Chinese users, become more recognized, and achieve a higher number of downloads.   Services We Provide: Content Translation
  • User Interface •App Descriptions •App Preview Screenshots
  • Promotional Images/Videos •User Reviews •Marketing Materials
  • User Agreements
LQA Testing