Multinationals on the web: Cultural similarities and differences in English-language and Chinese-language website designs



The goal of this article is to explore the manifestation of culture in the design of English-language and Chinese-language corporate websites, using Hofstede's dimensions of culture. Data were gathered from the 2010 Global 500 list published by Fortune magazine. Only multinational corporations that have both English-language and Chinese-language websites were analyzed (N=223). The results indicate that the Chinese-language and English-language websites differ significantly in 4 out of Hofstede's 5 cultural dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, and long-term and short-term dimensions. Cultural differences are indeed reflected in the website designs of the Global 500 corporations, though not exactly in the direction predicted by Hofstede's model.