The Chinese mobile market been growing fast and is continuing that growth at an incredible rate. In her session during Casual Connect Asia, Introduction to the Chinese Gaming Culture: Why Your Game Will Not Work, Juan Li, Project Manager for Portal2China explained how game developers can be ready for the Chinese market. Traditions run deep in China and represent a challenge for any outsider due to both the uniqueness and the complexity of these traditions. One thing to keep in mind is that, “Gifting is so important. It is a part of the culture. Exchanging a gift is a way to maintain the friendship.” Without tools and knowledge such as this, one cannot succeed in the Chinese market.
It would be difficult to find anyone more passionate about her work than Juan Li, account manager at Portal2China. There, she is responsible for guiding overseas clients in understanding Chinese gamers and the game market in order to set up their businesses and successfully launch their products in China. She enormously enjoys the opportunity her job gives her to develop the cross-cultural communication, which can smoothly bridge differences and promote business between the Western world and China.
The Chinese Market
Juan has spent decades working with Western companies to help them develop their businesses in China, experience which has given her an in-depth understanding of the market, the local clients and relevant government policies. She emphasizes, “Before expanding to China, Western companies must realize that the Chinese market, while not difficult, is different from markets in the West. Before entering this new market it is essential to gain a background in the culture and people.”
Juan was inspired to become a part of the games industry after meeting the CEO of Bug-Tracker. At that time, their Chengdu office in China was involved with game QA and was confused about some issues with the local government. They invited her to join the company to look into the case to help calm the situation and deal with the issues.
Her work with the Bug-Tracker QA team in China allowed her to increase her own understanding of gamer behavior. She also discovered that she thrives in the working environment in the games industry, a vigorous and creative atmosphere much different from that of most other industries.
Comprehending Foreign Markets
An aspect of her work that she finds deeply rewarding has been using her expertise to assist game companies in comprehending foreign markets. And she notes that right now many Western game developers and publishers are eager to participate in the huge games market in China. But in the next several years, she expects the flow to reverse as more and more Chinese game developers and publishers attempt to bring their games to Western markets. One of her prime objectives is to help these Chinese developers better grasp the differences in Western markets, especially the North American market, in order to seamlessly extend their businesses into this area.
Perhaps it is not surprising that Juan is working to extend understanding between game businesses in the West and China; the job she dreamed of as a child was to become a culture ambassador between the Western and Eastern worlds. She is working toward similar goals today, and if she could not be a part of the games industry, she would certainly use her expertise in cross-cultural communication in other industries.
In her free time she demonstrates her commitment to the importance of continuing toward her objective of cross-cultural communication; one of her frequent pastimes is reading about the cultural differences between the Chinese and Western worlds. She does now and then take a break to enjoy some sports.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.