OSINT: Searching the Chinese Internet

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 in person over 2.5 days.

There are currently no dates planned for this course. Register your interest for future dates or enquire about in-house options.

Course Outline

Searching the Chinese Web

Getting Started

  • 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

  • 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

Social Media and Business Research

Chinese 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 Business Research

  • Mapping a company's online footprint
  • Finding a company's registration number
  • Analysing business license information
  • Verifying ownership
  • Verifying a company's legitimacy and reputation

Training Exercises

  • A series of training exercises to apply and test the skills taught
There are currently no dates planned for this course. Register your interest for future dates or enquire about in-house options.

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


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
  • 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