Asian Web Buyers Want Localized Content, Study Says

Internet users in Asia/Pacific are continuing to show a clear preference for viewing the Web in their native language while also purchasing more from foreign Web sites, according to a report by International Data Corp., (IDC), a market research firm in Framingham, Mass. The study tracked Internet shoppers of sites across all the major Asia/Pacific languages compared with sites in English. Further analysis shows that since 1998, there has been a steady rise in the number of online Internet users who are purchasing from foreign Web sites, as opposed to local sites offering the same product or service. To capitalize on this trend, Web sellers based in the United States and Europe are setting up mirror sites in Asia/Pacific that offer localized language content, noted the report. Chinese Web users buying from foreign sites, for instance, increased from 28% to 32% in 1999, while Korean Web users who bought from a foreign Web site increased from 20% to 32% in 1999. For both Chinese and Korean languages, Web users made fewer purchases from their native sites, registering a drop of 4% and 12%, respectively.

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