Foreword: China - the next phase of growth

Matthias Hartmann

BBC Radio 4 in the UK recently reported that, in China, businesses are turning away from hiring staff for their English speaking skills, and placing more emphasis on having Chinese speakers. This is a direct reflection of the recent major shift in the focus of the Chinese market.

China rose to international importance due to its exports, and therefore saw English speakers (English being the primary global business language), as vital to any company that wanted to trade globally.

But now China has a whole new focus, turning its eyes inwards to its own expanding pool of domestic consumers - and businesses are therefore placing emphasis on hiring standard Chinese speakers to serve this newly emerging and lucrative internal market.