In an interesting move that will probably not be the last of its type, Jason Calacanis has announced the launch of Engadget Chinese, a Chinese language version of the popular Engadget gadget blog with direct translations of Engadget posts, as well as additional information for the local Chinese market.
Calacanis writes that the move has been considered as a way to expand the Engadget brand globally whilst maintaining control over content.
He states in his post that the new site will lose money but is an interesting experiment in launching into non-English speaking markets. Personally, I think he is either fibbing, or reading the marketplace wrongly. Firstly, Jason Calacanis doesn’t enter marketplaces he doesn’t think he can’t make money from, so in this regard, the new site might be a longer term investment, but it will eventually be successful and make money; secondly he talks only of the Chinese mainland market but conveniently ignores the massive market in Chinese language services through out the world. Even here in Australia there are numerous Chinese language local newspapers and services catering to the local Chinese community: even Telstra publishes a copy of the Yellow Pages in Sydney in Chinese. The same goes throughout the world, large Chinese speaking populations in Canada, the West Coast of the United States, even New Zealand: and guess what, demographically they are more likely to be well off, educated and computer users, and therefore potential markets for the Chinese language version of Engadget. A blog just for China? we don’t think so.