Friday, November 18, 2011

Targeting China? Be prepared for additional web development costs

If you want your web application to tap into the huge Chinese market, I have a bad news for you.

Until April 2011, IE6 was still the #1 browser in China. Now it is still at 37%.
That's bad news, because IE6 is an old browser with many bugs. Making your website usable on IE6 is very complex, it will typically double your UI custom widgets development costs.

If you are not targeting China, then do like Google AppsFacebook, Twitter and YouTube: don't invest time in making your website compatible with IE6. Actually 87% of the global top-30 websites offer a sub-optimal experience to IE6 users.

But if you are targeting China, be prepared. In particular:
Chrome recently became the second most-used browser in China, but guess what was the second-most used web browser earlier this year? Not Firefox, not Safari. It was Maxthon, from Hong Kong. It is based on Trident, just like Internet Explorer. There is also 搜狗, that can use IE and Chrome as a rendering engine. Finally, claiming 172 million active users, 360安全 is also based on Trident, and shows the same faults as IE6.
Nicolas Raoul

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