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Press Release

New Study Finds That Only 12% Of Web Sites In The U.S. Are Positioned To Capture The International Revenue Opportunity

San Francisco, California -- October 23, 2001 -- Despite recent predictions of a slowing worldwide economy, international B2B ecommerce is expected to experience a 76% year-to-year growth from 2000 to 2005 - ballooning to $2.8 trillion - according to a new study just released by IDC, a leading advisory firm on ebusiness and technology.

Few North American companies are ready today to take advantage of the rapidly expanding international market, according to IDC. For example, only 13% of North American companies' Web sites support multilingual versions - a critical competitive edge in selling products and services in nations where English is not the primary language. In contrast, 50% of Asia/Pacific companies - and 40% of Western European enterprises - have multilingual Web sites.

eTranslate, Inc. (, a leading globalization software company sponsored the report.

"Successful international players must be able understand local cultures and local languages when entering new markets," said Alex Motsenigos, Senior Analyst with IDC's Globalization and Localization Services research practice and co-author of the report. "The simple truth is Asia/Pacific and Western European players have developed a better understanding around such business requirements compared to their North American counterparts."

"To win overseas, companies have to communicate in a language and culture understood by local audiences," said Janet Heppner, CEO of eTranslate. "Since half the worldwide market exists outside the U.S., companies who ignore this most basic role of doing business do so at their own financial peril."

Drawing from its proprietary and industry respected Internet Commerce Market Model (ICMM) version 7.1, this IDC study found that by 2005:

B2B ecommerce will account for 86% of the worldwide ecommerce opportunity. Non-U.S. B2B ecommerce spending will jump to $2.8 trillion, representing over 60% of the worldwide B2B market opportunity. U.S. share of worldwide B2B ecommerce will drop to 36%, from 41% in 2000, while Western Europe's share will jump to 34%, from 20% in 2000. The fastest growing international markets are Western Europe, at $1.5 trillion, and Asia/Pacific at $516.3 billion. Over 85% of B2B buyers will reside outside of the U.S. In that respect, Asia/Pacific, with 36%, and Western Europe, with 27%, will surpass the United States in terms of the number of businesses procuring goods and services over the Web.

"Even in this economic downturn, we are seeing many companies continue to develop their Web globalization strategies," stated Heppner. "Moving forward in these tough economic conditions is the only way to gain an advantage over their competitors."

IDC also concluded:

85% of the users in China and 84% in Japan prefer content in their native language. 80% of manufacturing sites have multilingual content, far higher than the other industries surveyed including financial services, healthcare and telecommunications. Of the manufacturing sites that offer multilingual content, 77% feature Chinese and only 58% use English. While less than 12% of U.S. companies plan to offer multilingual support on their Web sites, 50% of their international counterparts plan to do so.

In addition, the report states that companies who are using the Internet for global communication must make multilingual content management software a top priority to help automate the localization process and improve human translator productivity. By employing multilingual content management software, companies will reduce the expenses and time-to-market requirements that are associated with maintaining a multilingual Web site. In its research, IDC found that globalization vendors report that their customers expect an ROI of between 25% and 150% the first year and up to 500% in subsequent years.

The full report can be found at

About IDC IDC delivers accurate, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and adoption and technology trends, and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in more than 40 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information on IDC can be found on its Web site at IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

About eTranslate eTranslate is a globalization software company providing software, consulting, and localization. The industry's only integrated solution for Web globalization is supported by eTranslate GlobalLink ä a multilingual content management software application. eTranslate's customers include Standard & Poor's, GE, and eBay. eTranslate, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices worldwide. More information can be found at

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