How learning Chinese will help young Saudis?


By Mohammed Mirza

The Crown Prince’s China trip was in the headlines for many things, one such was the announcement that Chinese would be thought in Saudi schools and universities.

The announcement found its way to almost all Saudi based newspapers and many on social media were baffled by it. But here’s why it can actually be of much benefit to Saudis.

The Numbers

There are several varieties and dialects of the Chinese language, the most widely spoken amongst them is Mandarin Chinese. Now, Mandarin Chinese alone has close to a billion native speakers that makes it the most widely spoken language in the world in terms of native speakers. This fact on its own should be enough to convince one of learning Chinese over any other language.

The UNWTO lists China as the fourth most visited country in the world with approximately 60.7 million visitors in 2017. Most people in China don’t speak Chinese so learning Chinese can surely help you in making your way around the land of over a billion souls.

The Reach

It is not that Chinese is only spoken in China, standard Chinese is also the official language of Taiwan and Singapore. Besides that, there is a huge Chinese diaspora found largely across Asia and North America numbering some 50 million according to some estimates.

View image on Twitter

The Economics

Like the saying goes China is the world’s factory. The “Made In China” tag is found on almost everything, even the smartphone or laptop that you are reading this piece on probably also has the same tag on it.

Knowing the local language will give you unprecedented access to local Chinese factories that have a dearth of products to sell but you just haven’t come across them earlier because they were too small to display themselves on trade fairs.

China is also heading towards becoming the world’s biggest economy, with many international giants vying to get a slice of this huge market. Knowing Chinese will not only help in you in gaining a foot in this sizeable market but may also help you land a job especially in international trading companies.

Article first appeared on

Mohammed Mirza is an avid traveler who is constantly on the hunt for new and upcoming Saudi travel destinations. Having lived much of his life in Saudi, he knows the country like the back of his hand. He’s also a book lover at heart and is the author of a novel called “Desert Promises”.

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