If you’d had enough of the tiresome Globish debate, then consider the possibilities of a global Chinese or Globese. Could Chinese be the new lingua franca for business? For some, we’re well on the way, driven by the fact that Chinese is set to become the dominant language on the internet in a few years.
Having actually subjected myself to read Robert McCrum’s book, I am not so sure that will happen any time soon. The Globish hegemony was largely driven by international business over time, reinforced by popular culture. A decision to adopt a lingua franca is a pragmatic one and Globese would be subjected to the same forces. Besides, Chinese is so damn hard to learn.
So, I don’t see Globese arriving any time soon. However, it’s not so easy to dismiss the eventual possibility based on a premise that China might be doing more buying than selling—as some claim—especially given the evidence from places like Africa.
The message about Chinese influence, internet trends, digital content explosion, and market size is clear if you want to sell into that market or leverage a major part of the world’s collective intelligence. Chinese cannot be ignored.