OSINT: Searching the Chinese Internet (Virtual Course)

Open enrolment and in-house options available

This course is dedicated to helping researchers, academics and business professionals make better use of Chinese-language internet and social media sources. The course begins with a general introduction to the Chinese language and the Chinese internet. From there, we will demonstrate how to set up your desktop and mobile devices to support data collection, processing and translation. We will then walk you through the different strategies, tools and resources you can use to research or investigate Chinese-language sources and social media platforms. We will also show you how to identify and validate Chinese companies. Throughout, attention will be given to those aspects of Chinese language and culture that you should be sensitive to as a researcher.

The course will be delivered live over five, 3.5 hour sessions. There will be separate iterations of the course for Asian, European and North American audiences. Please select the start time (SGT, CET or EST) that suits you best.

Course Outline

Getting Started

Introduction and Configuration

  • The differences between the Chinese and “Western” internet
  • Online obstacles and how to manage them
  • The Chinese language
  • Chinese characters and transliteration
  • Keyboard setup
  • Web-based translation platforms
  • Mobile device setup and translation applications
  • Optical character recognition (OCR)

Searching the Web in Chinese

Search Strategies

  • Searching the web in Chinese: tools and strategies
  • Reconciling information inconsistencies in English and Chinese
  • Accurate vocabulary use
  • Working with satellite imagery
  • Recommended research resources

Chinese Social Media

Social Media and Smartphone Apps

  • Working with Chinese names
  • Finding Chinese email addresses
  • Working with Chinese content on Western social media platforms
  • Working with Chinese social media platforms
  • Working with Chinese mobile applications

Chinese Corporate Research

  • Introduction to Chinese corporate research
  • Mapping a company’s online footprint
  • Finding a company’s registration number
  • Verifying and researching ownership
  • Chinese business license information
  • Verifying a company’s legitimacy and reputation
  • Additional resources and toolbox

Training Exercises

  • Applying lessons learned through training exercises

Course Details


This course is intended for anyone wishing to make better use of Chinese language resources on the Internet. The course is recommended for business professionals, academic researchers, due diligence specialists and social media investigators.


On completion of this course, you will have the ability to:

  • Understand the main characteristics of the Chinese language
  • Navigate the Chinese internet with greater confidence
  • Find specific content in Chinese (news reports, documents, etc.)
  • Find people through their web and social media footprints
  • Apply a range of tools to tackle the problem of translation and transliteration


  • A full set of course slides in PDF
  • An index of recommended tools / resources
  • A certificate of completion


EUR 1,200


Trainees do not need prior knowledge of the Chinese language; basic knowledge of the Internet suffices.


Please observe the following technical requirements:

  • You will need a desktop or laptop PC (Windows or MacOS)
  • You will need a mobile device (Android-based tablets or mobile phones are preferred). Please ensure this device has a working camera
  • Install Google Chrome
  • Open a Zoom account
  • You will need Facebook and Instagram accounts for online research
  • Install the Pleco dictionary app on your mobile device. You should also have the capacity to write on the screen of your device using your finger