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George McKinnon SVP, CIO/ Engineering,  Bleum Software
George McKinnon SVP, CIO/ Engineering, Bleum Software
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China Market Opportunities Obscured by Language Barrier

Insurers looking to tap the Chinese market face many barriers, but the language barrier may be the most difficult to overcome.

There are major barriers carriers will face as they try to unlock the potential of more than 1.2 billion people living and working in China, a global powerhouse. And while these barriers will all but stop even the most tenacious players, there are three that will stop them dead in their tracks.

As companies attempt to enter the Chinese market, the first and largest barrier is the language. Imagine your claims associate trying to get the details of an accident from the various parties involved and not being fluent in Chinese -- it just wouldn't be possible. All verbal and written communications would need to be in Mandarin, which would further be complicated by more than 20 dialects. Even if these problems were solved, capturing pertinent data in your systems presents a challenge, as Mandarin takes years to master.

The claims organization faces the second major barrier. The practices in China will be quite challenging due to the nature of settlement procedures used here. If you are involved in an accident, the transaction is often settled on-site, in real time. Wouldn't that create some workflow issues?

Selecting the right technology partner is the third barrier. But this may also provide an unexpected surprise. China produces more technology graduates than any other country, which creates quality developers on par with the U.S. Industry-leading companies are achieving significant results by integrating this talent with Western business practices.

China is a huge market with substantial rewards, but only for those willing to take the risk and with the ability to crack the code.

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