SDL Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 2020: Lessons for Global Companies from the Year of the Rat

With the Chinese economy poised to overtake the US as the largest in the world, the value of its market to global businesses grows every day. When this is coupled with the country’s growing diaspora, it is no surprise that Chinese New Year has become a global cultural event, making it an important date in the calendar for businesses seeking to reach international audiences.

According to the Chinese calendar, a model of personalization, individuals are assigned an animal, each with their distinct personality traits, based on their year of birth. 25 January 2020 marks the beginning of the year of the rat. Whilst not usually considered the most appealing of animals, the rat is assigned many positive attributes by the Chinese zodiac. Smart, resourceful and versatile, it was the quick-witted rat who won the race in the mythical Chinese zodiac story.

In honor of the Year of the Rat, SDL looks at what lessons global businesses can be learnt from the rat based on its zodiac characteristics.


Businesses that are smart with their content are best equipped to reach their customers and prospective customers effectively. In today’s digital era, where content can be accessed on a number of different devices in various formats, it is essential that content is tailored to the desired audience by adapting it to the context it is consumed. Content should be intelligent and responsive. SDL Tridion Sites does this seamlessly by breaking up large pieces of content which can then be repurposed and tailored for websites, mobile applications, IoT devices, chatbots, self-service kiosks, and voice enabled devices.


A problem that many businesses have to overcome is managing and organising large amounts of content which is often scattered across different devices and systems. In order to improve productivity, businesses should be resourceful like the rat. Content management systems such as SDL Tridion Docs can help businesses manage their files, documents and data efficiently. Some key benefits of Tridion Docs is the ability to manage different versions of documents, streamline collaboration, and improve content findability.


For businesses moving into foreign markets, navigating different languages and cultures can be challenging. In order to succeed, businesses must be versatile and adaptable to the environment surrounding them. To avoid any cultural ‘faux pas’, content should be translated accurately and contextually. SDL leverages linguistic AI to rapidly translate and localise messages to reach global audiences. Using a ‘machine-first, human-optimized’ approach, businesses can benefit from content that is translated fast but localized for the intended audience.


Rats are social creatures that communicate well with those around them. With all businesses, building good relationships with partners, customers, clients and employees are key to success. One important method for establishing new connections is utilising social media. Finding the right messages to share with online communities will help to attract, engage and retain customers. Creating the right social media post can be a daunting task for many businesses, but with the help of SDL’s Content Assistant, businesses can extract blurbs and statistics from large documents which can then be easily turned into tweets.

Fortunately for those born in the Year of the Rat, a year of wealth and prosperity lies ahead. By taking these measures, perhaps your business – as with people who are born in the year of the rat – will also enjoy a rich year, and decade ahead.