The development of China’s T&I Industry

The Chinese economy has grown rapidly over the last few years and so has the Chinese language service industry. The number of Translation Service Providers has increased enormously over the past few decades and China has become an important global player in the translation sector, competing against the well-established providers in the USA and Europe.

An interesting study was carried out on the development and growth of the T&I industry in China and reported on in “the 2012 Report on China’s Language Service Industry”, published by TAC (Translators Association of China) on 13 March 2013 in Industry Insights. The report suggested there were three stages in China’s LSP development:

“1980–1991 Infancy Stage: From 16 to 767 LSPs, increased by 43.6% each year, small base.
1992–2002 Primary Stage: In 1992, the total number of LSPs in China reached 1432. In 2002, it reached 8179, at an annual growth rate of 26.8%.
2003–2011 Rapid and Stable Development Stage: In 2003, the total number of LSPs in China reached 10546 LSPs. In the end of 2011, the number reached 37197, at an average annual growth rate of 18.4%.”

The “Beijing Review” of 27 April 2015 states:

“In the 2014 “Report on China’s Translation Industry” by TAC, it revealed that from 2012 to 2013, China had 18,778 new companies providing language-based services, with an average annual increase of up to 25 per cent. Most of these companies were also optimistic about the market potential of the translation industry in China.”

TAC was founded in 1982 and is both an academic society and a trade association. TAC looks after the rights and interests of interpreters and translators in China, and stresses the importance of quality of translation and interpretation.

TAC organised their first Forum in 1995 in Beijing, called “Asian Translators Forum”. Since then, the conference has been held every three years. During the FIT Council Meeting in 2015, TAC’s proposal to rename the Forum as “Asia-Pacific Translation and Interpretation Forum (APTIF)” was accepted.

In 2013, during the 7th Forum, TAC and XISU (Xi’an International Studies University) won the right to host together the 8th Forum. The APTIF8 will be held in Xi’an, China on 17 and 18 June 2016. During a press conference held on 21 September 2015 at XISU University, the theme of the conference was established by Wang Gangyi, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of TAC and Council Member of FIT as:

“Behind the Scenes: Translation and Interpreting in Tomorrow’s Asia-Pacific Region, which explores the present opportunities and challenges faced by translation, interpreting and other sections of the language service industry as well as its future development under the “Belt and Road” initiative targeted at regional cooperation and development and the new technological environment represented by cloud computing and big data. He suggested that the city of Xi’an, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and the venue for this Forum, serves as the perfect place for scholars in the international T&I fields to understand the history of China and the development of the Chinese T&I industry.”

China’s translation industry is becoming more and more significant.
If you have the time and opportunity, don’t miss out on this conference!