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Getting ready to market your business overseas – what would that mean to you? Hopefully translation for overseas marketing of your main product brochures, staff training, and maybe translations of your website home pages into the languages of the customers you are looking to attract? A visit by some handpicked and carefully trained representatives with all the multilingual backup they need at their disposal?

The Chinese are always looking overseas for new business opportunities, and are always working on being ahead of the game regarding developing new tactics to secure foreign customers. One of the most interesting of these to have hit the news is the hiring of what could broadly be described as “Westerners” as business executives to help gain lucrative contracts overseas. American or European business representatives are becoming quite a trend in China – with the idea that customers will believe that the company they are dealing with operates internationally and has good connections in the West. However, what training do these representatives have and how does it all go down with the customer?

The BBC World Service was told by Canadian journalist Mitch Moxley how he, along with a group of white North Americans, had been hired to pose as a quality control expert. They were asked to pretend to be representing a California-based firm who were in partnership with a Chinese company that had won a contract to develop a production site in Dongying, Shandong Province.

“We were a fictional American company supposedly spearheading this project,” said Mr Moxley.

The group was supplied with leaflets and brochures for an American company which did not appear to exist, although Mr Moxley searched the internet for any mention of it.

Apparently fake foreign executives are becoming commonplace at corporate events in China’s smaller cities, and some foreigners doing business in China have been approached and asked to appear at such events – all expenses paid.

Here at Technical Translations we think it is probably most effective to simply have a couple of really well prepared members of your own staff attending important high profile corporate events or liaising with clients. It is vital that anyone representing your company should know what they are talking about, should they be engaged in conversation, and if you supply your representatives with top-quality translations of bona fide marketing material you’ll give just the impression you want – that you know what you are doing, even if you don’t have employees in all the countries you are visiting.

If you would like any advice on translation for overseas marketing, we’ll be glad to here from you.  Click here to contact us.