An interesting article appears in Network World today regarding the challenges security-software vendors confront in trying to crack the Chinese market.
The obstacles are manifold, including product-localization issues, finding the right distribution channels, and product pricing.
Regarding product localization, China has not only its own language and dialects, but also its own unique types of malware. To address that challenge, McAfee has hired a research team to develop defenses against exploits that target popular Chinese applications.
Similarly, the channels through which Chinese buyers, particularly consumers, obtain security software are different from those preferred by Westerners. Whereas Americans and Europeans often adopt the anti-malware software that comes bundled on PCs, Chinese consumers prefer to download their own security software or to use online virus-scanning services. They also favor anti-malware subscriptions from Internet service providers.
Last but certainly not least, Chinese consumers of security software favor low-priced offerings, which come primarily from home-grown vendors such as Rising, Kingsoft, and Jiangmin. Western vendors of security software are among China’s consumer-market leaders measured in sales revenue, according to Gartner numbers cited in the article, but they lag in unit-volume market share and find themselves under pricing pressure.
The unique challenges of the Chinese market are worth bearing in mind as one attempts to grapple with how quickly, and how effectively, security-software vendors can increase sales in that part of the world.