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A few facts
- Population of 1.4 billion and growing, making China the world's largest online retail market.
- 10 different Chinese dialects - if you speak one dialect does not mean you can understand another.
- Around 106,230 characters in a dictionary.
History of the written language
- 3000 years ago Chinese written language started as images and has been simplified over time.
- Two mains types of written Chinese - Simplified and Traditional.
- Reading directions can change - Left to right/right to left/ top to bottom/bottom to top.
- There is a cultural difference - direct translations do not always work e.g. different colours can imply different meanings.
Chinese on the web
- Simplified version of written Chinese would account for around 3-10MB of data.
- Use of images in Chinese web design tend to be very small due to this, as well as very slow internet throughout China.
- Websites in China still tend to target people who are living with a lower income.
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- Below approximately 12px Chinese is not legible as it tends to look like a small black box.
- Compared with many Western countries, the Internet was introduced later to China - for many people it is still used for entertainment rather than to perform tasks.
- Although Chinese written language is very intricate and beautiful, there are still few options when it comes to fonts.
- However, they is becoming increasingly available via Adobe Typekit, Fonts.com, JUSTFONT, Youziku, and ifontcloud.