Fascinating article in the New York Times about an emerging generation of Chinese who are pushing back against the 996 (9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week) work culture.

A generation ago, the route to success in China was to work hard, get married and have children. The country’s authoritarianism was seen as a fair trade-off as millions were lifted out of poverty. But with employees working longer hours and housing prices rising faster than incomes, many young Chinese fear they will be the first generation not to do better than their parents. …

As a Mailchimp user I was intrigued to be greeted by this header recently:

I clicked on the link and found the following five languages:

I recently joined Clubhouse — thanks to Lee Vann and to Kathrin Bussmann for inviting me to participate in one of her weekly chats.

When I “onboarded” to the app I was struck by something I did not expect to see in this “born global” Silicon Valley creation.


Or, more specifically, flags used to indicate language.

When you create your account you are asked to select your interests, seen here:

I suppose that once Clubhouse committed to using icons in each button that it felt somewhat inevitable to use flags to indicate languages. But flags narrow the reach of each language. Should I click Spanish if I’m interested in Latin American Spanish or should I only click if I’m interested in Spain? …

One of the major takeaways from the Web Globalization Report Card is the importance of providing “front doors” to your localized websites.

These doors begin with the addresses themselves, which may not include the .com domain. In fact, I’d recommend that most localized websites not use the .com domain, as this is an overloaded domain.

This article looks at the many ways brands are creating more localized addresses, beginning with country code top-level domains (ccTLDs).

Country codes

There are more than 250 country codes in use around the world. Some are enormously popular, such as .de in Germany and .jp in Japan. Others have been licensed for purposes well beyond their countries, such as .co (Colombia) which is used as an abbreviated .com domain.

What was for many years a threat has now become a reality — a Russian law requiring mobile phone manufacturers to ship with preinstalled Russian-made apps (or allow them to be easily installed).

It appears that Apple updated its onboarding flow to do just that, as seen here:

Ah looks like the Russia App Store thing is live now pic.twitter.com/zxz4GgQeoW

- Khaos Tian (@KhaosT) April 1, 2021

Will other governments be inspired to force Apple and others to prioritize their home-grown apps?


This is part of a larger trend of countries around the world asserting their authority over the…

I began the Web Globalization Report Card back in 2003. It became the first report of it kind to benchmark global websites and I’ve been publishing this report annually ever since then.

For the first time in all those years, the average number of languages supported by these websites did not increase, as shown here:

Note that this graphic reflects the leading global brands only, websites like Apple, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Mercedes. If I were to step back and pick a few thousand websites at random, the average would drop precipitously.

Because, even today, very few websites support more than 30 languages. And yet I expected that over the past year that I would see more companies dropping languages than I actually did. Even the hard-hit travel sector held steady.


John Yunker

Web globalization geek and co-founder of Byte Level Research. Author of Think Outside the Country and The Tourist Trail. Co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

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