Establishing technical communication as a professional discipline

Although technology plays a major role in Chinese business and everyday life, the field of technical communication is still largely unknown within Chinese industry and academia. Since the 1990s, attempts have been made to establish technical communication courses and programs in Chinese universities. In this article, we will describe the recent developments at Peking University.

Text by Zhijun Gao Jingsong Yu Menno de Jong


Establishing technical communication as a professional discipline

Image: © chinaview/

The emergence of technical communication in China

From a bird’s-eye view, the development of technical communication as a discipline in China is a necessity. China’s economy has grown rapidly, and China is evolving from a manufacturing to a knowledge country. Technology plays a vital role in this process. The importance of technical communication for the technological and creative industries is undisputed in the Western world. The professional and academic status of the field is underlined by longstanding academic journals, like Technical Communication, magazines, like tcworld and Intercom, and associations, like tekom and the Society for Technical Communication (STC).

Of course, technical communication already exists in Chinese companies. Wherever more or less complex products are made, technical communication is required. Companies now solve this by setting up call-centers, or by ...