Language Strategies in China: An analysis and framework development for multinational companies

  • maite piedra fiu
Keywords: Language, Lingua Franca, Mandarin, Strategies, china, Globalization, Communication, Corporate Culture


As the global business landscape has shifted in response to technological and social innovation, international profit-seeking companies located in China have encountered
unprecedented challenges regarding language. Moreover, the notion of a “language strategy” proves central to success for flourishing companies. This paper focuses on the
intricacies surrounding English and Chinese language policies; mechanical, cultural, and political theories comprise the foundational analysis (Janssens, Lambert and Steyaert
2004). After providing a brief synopsis of China’s cultural and linguistic context, this paper addresses three predominant specific issues: First, what constitutes a language
strategy? What theoretical perspectives underpin a language strategy? Lastly, how can the organization build an atmosphere conducive to language strategy success?

Results from my study conducted of international companies located in China are presented; analyses and conclusions are presented alongside leading studies in language and
management. Furthermore, this paper provides managers with a foundational framework for developing well-structured language strategies concerning English and Mandarin. I
reflect upon and analyse cultural insights, empirical studies, and primary-source surveys to construct a theoretical and practical approach to corporate language