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Ebay pals up with Chinese e-commerce

Businesses trading on the foreign language internet now have greater access to China’s burgeoning e-commerce market, thanks to the establishment of a PayPal hub in Chongqing, China’s largest municipality.

Ebay’s online payment system has struck a deal with the government of Chongqing, giving Chinese online traders faster access to export licences with significantly increased limits for annual currency conversions, a step which will greatly improve Chinese businesses’ capacity for online trade.

Previously, China’s online exporters were restricted by government-imposed limits of US$50,000 a year for conversions of foreign currency into local currency.

With an online payment market worth approximately Rm1,000bn Chinese yuan (£97bn) in 2010, China’s e-commerce market is the fastest growing in the world. And as the world’s largest online payment platform, PayPal has been quick to notice the potential for online trade between Chinese SMEs and the rest of the world.

And it’s not just the major players like Ebay that can take advantage of trading with China via the internet. Any business can dip its toe into a foreign market, simply by translating its website into the desired foreign language and optimising it for search engines.

In fact, marketing your business online in foreign languages delivers better return on investment than internet marketing in English, given that there’s less competition for key search terms online in languages other than English (read on here for more about marketing in the foreign language internet).

With this new lease on life for Chinese traders, and a potential customer base of 440m online users, perhaps 2011 is the year for your business to start looking at online trade with the People’s Republic of China?

Christian Arno, Founder and President, Lingo24

Christian Arno is Founder and President of Lingo24. He started the company in 2001 after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in languages. He has won numerous awards including HSBC Business Thinking and International Trade Awards (2010), and TAUS Excellence Award (2012) for innovative technology. He contributes to leading industry publications and has been featured on the BBC, in the Financial Times and other media around the world.

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