In a study carried out by Italian company Translated.net, websites using Simplified Chinese script, the version used in Singapore and Mainland China show that Chinese speaking netizens rank second in their online buying power.
The study, called the T-index 2010 attempts to quantify the gross domestic product and the online populations of regions and countries to enable e-commerce operators to make educated decisions about which languages they should be choosing to localise their sites.
According to Translated:
T-Index is a statistical index developed by Translated. It is a percentage value that indicates the market share of each language on the Internet and the languages that offer the best sales potential when translating your website.
E-commerce sites based in Singapore and China account for 11% of their index, second only to English with 34.5%. Japanese is in fourth place with 7% and Korean creeps in at number ten with just under 2.5%.
While Translated are obviously using this study to market their own translation services, it still gives a clear indication of the growing power of the asian online consumer with the region accounting for almost 25% of the localised e-commerce market. A number that must be significantly higher if you include English language sites in the equation.