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As this year’s CSOFT Summit fast approaches, we’d like to take a look back at the origins of the event and compare past summits to the rather unconventional iteration that will be held this year.

In 2004, within a year of its founding, CSOFT held its very first operations summit. In a little courtyard in Beijing, a group of barely twenty people gathered in a room meant to seat fifteen and poured over training presentations for the better part of a day. From its humble beginnings to now, the annual CSOFT Summit has grown from a small internal affair to the largest localization and globalization conference in Asia.

The 12th Annual Summit

Last year’s Annual Summit, the 12th installment thus far, was titled “Thriving in a Global Economy: It’s A Small World After All”. It gathered a slew of CSOFT’s executives and chief linguists, as well as industry experts, academics, government officials, and associated media from thirty countries for two days of insightful discourse on how innovation had shaped the global economy.

One of the main themes of the 12th Annual Summit was the impact of the sharing economy on the world’s systems. CSOFT Founder and CEO Shunee Yee joined Marisa Drew (Co-Head EMEA Investment Banking and Capital Markets of Credit Suisse) and Michael Kuan (Chairman of Kuan Capital) for a lively discussion on this topic. The three touched on how major ride-sharing companies like Didi Chuxing and Uber had changed the transportation industry, and how ‘language-sharing’ apps like Stepes had impacted the translation industry.

CSOFT summit

Photo from the 12th Annual Summit’s panel on the sharing economy. Seated from left to right is: Shunee Yee, Marisa Drew, and Huang Youyi.

Another theme of last year’s summit was the localization industry’s response to Chinese companies’ continued growth abroad. Huang Youyi, a member of the People’s Political Consultative Committee and Executive Vice President of the Translation Association of China, and Carl Yao, the Founder of Stepes, explored this topic.

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In Huang Youyi’s speech, “Lead by Language”, he explained that as China continues to participate in the global economy, Chinese companies must rise to meet the language requirements of its targeted markets. In order for their efforts to be successful, this has ultimately required high-quality translation work. Mr. Huang revealed a 2011 survey by the Translation Association of China that demonstrated how, for the first time ever, more Chinese businesses were translating Chinese materials into foreign languages than foreign language materials into Chinese. This, in turn, had spelled a serious need in the industry for translators skilled in translating from Chinese into English, Spanish, etc., making China’s localization industry more in-demand than ever.

#GetSchooled Initiative

Another exciting event at last year’s summit was the launch of CSOFT’s #GetSchooled initiative. #GetSchooled was inspired by CSOFT’s collaboration with the Obama Administration’s Let Girls Learn initiative, when CSOFT provided multilingual translation support for. Since the #GetSchooled’s inception last year, CSOFT has developed a team of international ambassadors to spread the message, raise awareness, and organize fundraising.

CSOFT’s leadership is excited about the future of the initiative, as this issue is particularly important to CEO & Founder Shunee Yee, who believes, “Outstanding female leadership makes a difference in the world, and that begins with a good education”. From her visit to the Asian University for Women’s 5th commencement ceremony in May, Shunee can attest to this ideal being realized around the world more and more.

More to Come

While the CSOFT Summit has always been a fun and exciting event on our annual calendar, in order to bring it back down to the heart of our culture and build stronger international teams, we’ve decided to ditch the expert panels this year to focus exclusively on investing in our own people.

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Stay tuned, as we’ll be releasing more information about the 13th Annual CSOFT Summit in the weeks to come!

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