Step 2: Localize your product
Are you ready to take the second step in direction of the Chinese education market?
When you have completed step 1 and found the right partner, it is time to look at your product.
Are you offering something that the Chinese need? How could you make it more suitable for the clients that you want to sell it to?
This is where localization of your product comes in.
“Language is one part of localization; translating material into Chinese,” said Lancy Jia, founder and CEO of Sumino Oy. “Localization is, however, much, much more.”
Sumino is a Finnish company, specializing in educational content integration and localization into the Chinese market and other markets in Asia.
Chinese teachers need a script
Jia points to her experiences from Finland International Education (FINE), a company that exports Finnish early childhood education and care. FINE will soon open a kindergarten in Jiujiang, China, following pedagogical principles from Finland.
“Let’s say that the aim of the class is to teach the kids that 1+1=2,” Jia used as an example.
“For Finnish teachers, knowing the aim of the class is enough. They are capable of finding the methods themselves,” she explained.
“Chinese teachers are used to following more detailed guideline issued by the authorities, so they need more detailed instructions on how to spend each minute.”
She added that the different approaches to teaching could to some extend be explained by the different educational backgrounds of teachers in the two countries.
Many Chinese teachers have gotten their training from vocational schools, high schools, or from an even lower educational level. The situation is changing all the time, however, nowadays more and more teachers have a bachelor or a higher degree, like in Finland.
Cooperate with locals and Chinese experts
In practice, this means that a Finnish one-page guide on how to teach a class often has to be localized, not only by translating it into Chinese language, but also by elaborating and adding details about the exact teaching methods.
“A Chinese guide book has to be much more complicated in order to make Chinese teachers understand,” Jia summed up.
When localizing, understanding the local audience and the background of the locals is essential.
In order to successfully localizing your product, Jia strongly recommended cooperating with your local partner and Chinese experts.
“You have to make your products suitable for local people.”
This is part of a four-part series on how to get into the Chinese education market.
Find all the articles here:
- Step 1: Find The Right Partner
- Step 2: Localize Your Product
- Step 3: Localize Your Business Model
- Step 4: Find A Good Local Team
Do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about entering the Chinese market!