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Business language in Singapore

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mico5
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Business language in Singapore

Postby mico5 » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 10:28 am

Hi,

This is my first post on this forum though i have been reading it for awhile. I am a Hong Kong based Irish student and i am opening up an internet startup in which will launch simultaneously in both Hong Kong and Singapore within the next few months.

Our website will be in both English and Traditional Chinese (for Hong Kong) and we were wondering if we should also add Simplified Chinese for the Singapore page? It is my understanding that most Singaporeans speak English fluently, but then again most are Chinese and probably can read and write Chinese too. What i am wondering is: What do young Chinese Singaporeans rather read and write in?

Any advice would be great! Thanks

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 12:38 pm

Interesting question. I would have though it would have been better addressed by posting it on a Singaporean centric forum rather than an expatriate based forum though. :-k

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Postby mico5 » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 3:51 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Do you know of any good forums i could check out?

Cheers

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 4:23 pm

mico5 wrote:Thanks for the reply.

Do you know of any good forums i could check out?

Cheers


Just search for "singapore forum" in your favorite search engine to get a sampling. Good, however, is highly subjective. Prepare to read singlish in some sites.

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mico5
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Postby mico5 » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 5:01 pm

Cheers!

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Re: Business language in Singapore

Postby ksl » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 5:53 pm

mico5 wrote:Hi,

This is my first post on this forum though i have been reading it for awhile. I am a Hong Kong based Irish student and i am opening up an internet startup in which will launch simultaneously in both Hong Kong and Singapore within the next few months.

Our website will be in both English and Traditional Chinese (for Hong Kong) and we were wondering if we should also add Simplified Chinese for the Singapore page? It is my understanding that most Singaporeans speak English fluently, but then again most are Chinese and probably can read and write Chinese too. What i am wondering is: What do young Chinese Singaporeans rather read and write in?

Any advice would be great! Thanks



Traditional Chinese (for Hong Kong
Only Taiwan use traditional Chinese not Hong Kong, Hong Kong speak Cantonese. Singaporean Chinese actually speak and learn Mandarin simplified and English, there are also many old immigrants from Hong Kong.

I would suggest you use English, Simplified Chinese & Cantonese and to do it correctly or not at all, your launch should include mainland China, the largest population speaking simplified Chinese.

Specifically you need to ensure your online website targets these Countries, with the correct coding and key words for SEO. Google, paying for google add words is not recommended by me, there are better ways to target your audience and cheaper.

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mico5
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Postby mico5 » Wed, 24 Feb 2010 8:02 pm

Only Taiwan use traditional Chinese not Hong Kong, Hong Kong speak Cantonese.


Actually Taiwan and Hong Kong both use traditional Chinese, even though people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese it is written in traditional Chinese.

I would suggest you use English, Simplified Chinese & Cantonese and to do it correctly or not at all, your launch should include mainland China, the largest population speaking simplified Chinese.


I think you are correct in saying we should have the three languages and that is what i have been trying to decide lately. I would love to include mainland China in my launch, but unfortuantly when it comes to a foreign company opening a website in mainland China there are many problems which have to be dealt with. We think we should concentrate first, Singapore and Hk both have great business environments, best places for a startup in Asia.


Specifically you need to ensure your online website targets these Countries, with the correct coding and key words for SEO. Google, paying for google add words is not recommended by me, there are better ways to target your audience and cheaper.


I totally agree! We don't have the money to do any real advertising, going to mostly rely on online forms of free marketing (blogging, great content, forums, pr releases, twittering, Buzzing etc.).

Any good tips you could give me from your experience?

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maneo
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Postby maneo » Fri, 26 Feb 2010 8:11 am

mico5 wrote:
Only Taiwan use traditional Chinese not Hong Kong, Hong Kong speak Cantonese.


Actually Taiwan and Hong Kong both use traditional Chinese, even though people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese it is written in traditional Chinese.

The character set in Hong Kong is basically traditional (Fan ti zi - 繁體字), but since the primary language in Hong Kong is Cantonese,
there are some characters and usages that are unique to Hong Kong.

By the way, many people in Hong Kong speak Mandarin, too.
They are also learning to read and write Simplified Chinese (jian ti zi - 简体字)
Things have changed considerably since 1997.

mico5 wrote:
I would suggest you use English, Simplified Chinese & Cantonese and to do it correctly or not at all, your launch should include mainland China, the largest population speaking simplified Chinese.


I think you are correct in saying we should have the three languages and that is what i have been trying to decide lately. I would love to include mainland China in my launch, but unfortuantly when it comes to a foreign company opening a website in mainland China there are many problems which have to be dealt with. We think we should concentrate first, Singapore and Hk both have great business environments, best places for a startup in Asia.


If you have an internet company, why do you need to set-up a website "in mainland China"?
Why should a website located in Hong Kong be a problem for Mainland Chinese?

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Postby mico5 » Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:03 am

he character set in Hong Kong is basically traditional (Fan ti zi - 繁體字), but since the primary language in Hong Kong is Cantonese,
there are some characters and usages that are unique to Hong Kong.

By the way, many people in Hong Kong speak Mandarin, too.
They are also learning to read and write Simplified Chinese (jian ti zi - 简体字)
Things have changed considerably since 1997.


Yeah u are right. I actually speak Mandarin and when i am in a taxi in HK or in a shop where they don't understand English it always comes in handy. Some of the older generation don't speak it, but all the young people do.

If you have an internet company, why do you need to set-up a website "in mainland China"?
Why should a website located in Hong Kong be a problem for Mainland Chinese?


It is not a problem for them to visit your website (unless your server gets blocked), the big problem is how people from the mainland pay u. China has very strict money transfer policies which would make it very hard for us to receive money unless the person has a foreign credit card(Chinese use local debit cards to pay online). If are site was focused towards Expats we could work this way, but if we want to tap the local Chinese market this would not work.

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Postby maneo » Mon, 01 Mar 2010 1:33 am

There may be a way for you to set-up a company in China that can receive payments, and in turn pay your website company in Hong Kong for certain services. These both could even be under a third holding company. Guess it all depends on what service your internet company is providing.

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mico5
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Postby mico5 » Mon, 01 Mar 2010 10:35 am

There may be a way for you to set-up a company in China that can receive payments, and in turn pay your website company in Hong Kong for certain services. These both could even be under a third holding company. Guess it all depends on what service your internet company is providing.


I have heard of something like that. I remember hearing from a Chinese friend of mine that facebook had a set-up like that in China (before they got blocked). They would have a chinese partner open up a chinese owned company which would own the website, in turn the partner would have a % of the company outside of China, then facebook would open up a foreign owned management and technology company. Through complex agreements they would take money from the chinese company for "services rendered" and basically control it. It sounds complex and it is, also very expensive..in the millions! Don't quote me on this though, just what i have been told.


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