Wednesday, October 21

Why email is hardly used in China

Email or email is still an indispensable tool for most people, especially in the commercial and business field. Did you know that in China it is hardly used, even at work? These are the reasons. Nowadays social networks and messaging and video calling applications have taken over almost everything. WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and a long etcetera. The great pioneer, email, has lost influence, but it is still essential. In the West, email is a vital tool on a professional or commercial level. For long messages, for those who must be recorded, or for those who are not in a hurry. Most of us have multiple email addresses for shopping, work, private or leisure, and we check for new messages several times a day. But as our colleague Cristina Fernández tells us in Business Insider, in China and other Asian countries, email is hardly used. Many people do not have email and who does, it is rare that they check it every day. Why this important difference in a service that is essential for millions of people? Surface Laptop Go is Microsoft’s lightest laptop, ideal for teleworking and studying. With camera enhancements for video calls, full keyboard, instant power on, fast charging and all-day battery life. Email or electronic mail was one of the first communication tools that was used when the Internet was invented. The first email was sent in 1971 and according to Stadista, 306.4 billion emails are sent and received every day in 2020. And it is a figure that will continue to grow. By 2024, 361.6 billion emails will be sent per day. If email seems so essential, why is it rarely used in China and other Asian countries? There is a historical reason, and a cultural one. Emails were standardized in the West through the PC computers that reached businesses, universities, and homes in the 1980s and 1990s. But in China, technological development was much later. At that time an average Chinese salary could not afford a PC, and censorship delayed the introduction of the Internet. Some Xiaomi gaming and professional laptops that look very good and are quite competitively priced. They are models that are blatantly going for a rival: Apple’s MacBook, undoubtedly the team to beat in recent years. According to the World Bank, in 1999 there were 50.5 computers for every 100 people in the US while in China this figure dropped to 1.2. In Spain we reached 12.02 computers for every 100 inhabitants. At that time in China access to the Internet was made through Internet cafes. In 1999 Tencent created the QQ computer messaging application that was used instead of mail in these stores. Chinese users got used to sending direct messages instead of emails. There they skipped the PC stage (although now it has been implanted with force, especially to play) and went directly to mobile. These are the best routers you can buy with WiFi 6, the new WiFi standard that multiplies the speed of the internet. The country’s business culture also influenced, where it is common for the boss to entrust you with tasks outside of work, you must respond at any time. In 2011 Tencent launched the WeChat mobile messaging app, with a version for companies called WeChat Work. Its use is similar to WhatsApp, but it integrates many of the functions of email, since it allows you to book appointments, buy, manage documents, and even pay payroll. In China they use WeChat for everything, that is why email has been relegated to very specific circles, especially when it comes to interacting with Western companies or users. An example is AliExpress, which does use the mail to notify about shipments in its western version, but hardly uses it in the Chinese version.

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