Apple’s Localization for China at WWDC

(I’m taking a break from my weekly review of Apple Watch to comment on WWDC. The last in the series will be posted next week.)

As you may be aware, after spending 5 years in China and marrying a Chinese woman, I’m incredibly interested in China. In WWDC, Apple’s increasing attention to China was on full display, in a wide variety of ways, but not all obvious to Westerners. Apple is adjusting its software to solve clear needs in reaching the Chinese market. Continue reading

Google’s Problem With Chinese Culture

Thanks to Iconic: The Ultimate Tribute to Apple for sponsoring this site. Iconic is a stunning book of photography that lives up to its name. Learn more!

In late February, Forbes interviewed Google’s Sundar Pichai who said that Google was interested in re-entering the Chinese market:

Pichai said Google planned to make a renewed push in areas like payments, commerce and enterprise apps this year, and he suggested that Google would welcome the opportunity enter the Chinese market again…Pichai said…“I don’t think of China as a black hole. I see it as a huge opportunity in which we are playing as an enabling platform today and hopefully we have a chance to offer other services in the future.”

It’s no surprise that Google wants to re-enter the largest market on earth, with its hundreds of millions of increasingly-online users. But despite Google’s interest, their attempt at re-entry will be frustrated as their core mission statement is at odds with Chinese values. To understand why this is the case, we must first examine Google’s mission, the Western culture which enables it, and how that mission is at odds with Chinese culture. Continue reading

The Apple Watch, China Edition

My thanks to World Time Widget for sponsoring this site. World Time Widget is the simplest and best way to track timezones. Read my full review or why I think you’ll like it. By now it is widely surmised that China will be a huge market for Apple Watch Edition.  Shortly after Apple’s Spring Forward event, Scott Galloway of L2 think tank said:

The high-end model they should call the ‘China’ watch as it’s clearly targeted at emerging markets, aspirational consumers who are looking to spread their feathers (flaunt their individualism and wealth) with what has become the ultimate self-expressive benefit brand: Apple

With China’s gift-giving culture, rapidly rising middle class, and regard for Apple as a luxury brand, most assume Apple has positioned Apple Watch Edition for China. What few realize, though, is that the product Apple has positioned most brilliantly for China is not Apple Watch Edition but Apple Watch. The explanation of why starts with this picture: 2897e8f977398fc04115f04781b66f71

Continue reading