We’re used to talking about internationalisation of nations and cultures as something given that merely exists worldwide and is easily accessible by everyone. We also take for granted Internet, with its ubiquitous penetration worldwide, as the main vessel for this process. Indeed, Internet is a networking tool that reaches billions of users daily. And yet there are corners of the world that have their own completely different internet ecosystems. One famous example is China and its peculiar approach when it comes to Internet and social networks practices. Because of government limitations and restrictions on users’ interface. many international educators face great challenges when trying to reach students from China. How do you overcome this challenge?
Penetrating China’s cyberspace
For many countries around the world, China is not a nearby location. Therefore, the first approach towards this market would usually be through Internet cyber space. It makes sense, isn’t it? Before throwing a positive answer, however, consider taking a closer look at the Chinese online marketing situation. When entering the Chinese market, as a student recruiter you should be aware of China’s Internet censorship limitations. They are so strict that even the most popular and widely recognized search engines and global websites, such as Google and Facebook, are completely banned from usage in the country. Instead, there is number of domestic websites that serve as alternatives to the most popular internationally used webpages. Their reputation is growing, and international educators from around the world are quick to implement them in their online strategies towards the Chinese student market.
However, going ‘social’ on the Chinese cyberspace is not so straightforward. You need to get to know the Chinese online ecosystem of domestic websites with millions of daily users. In order to obtain online visibility, you should try exploring the most commonly used Chinese search engines. You will discover completely different search engine results page layouts, SEO practices and paid advertising platforms. So what are the top 3?
If you are wondering which website is “the Google of China”, please meet Baidu! Baidu holds a market share of more than 68.5% and replicates many aspects of Google’s design. However, it focuses mainly on the Chinese market. It is also established as the country’s leading search engine.
Qihoo 360 started off as an Internet security company with a free antivirus software that became extremely popular in the country. It search engine claims to be the most secure one available in China.
Sogou is partially owned by a Chinese social media giant, displaying results from a popular social network for student recruitment in China.
Have you ever tried using Chinese social networks to reach your potential target audience? Tell us about your experience. We would love to hear from you!