Facebook Forces Hong Kong Users to Adopt Simplified Chinese Interface

After Facebook updated its Android app to improve speed 2 days ago, netizens found that the interface of the app has been switched to Simplified Chinese. Outspoken artist Chapman To 杜汶澤, who once criticised censorship of Weibo in a TV interview, wrote “Give me back Traditional Chinese! F**k!” on his Facebook. His condemnation has received over 35,000 likes.

Facebook Forces Hong Kong Users to Adapt Simplified Chinese Interface

Chapman To: WTF? WTF is written? Give me back Traditional Chinese! F**k!


Chapman To: Finally I got it done. After updating Facebook for Android, your Facebook will become Simplified Chinese if the system language of your cell phone is Chinese (Hong Kong)! In order to use Traditional Chinese interface, you have to set your system language into Chinese (Taiwan). Facebook you motherf**ker, since when have Hong Kong enforced Simplified Chinese? F**k

The report from 2012.12.15 Apple Daily (Screen Capture),

Netizens Critcise the Mainlandisation of Facebook App

Facebook Mainlandises? It is not able to enter Mainland Chinese market. Yet, after updating the Facebook app, Android users found that the wording on the sidebar has become “handicapped character”, the mocking name for Simplified Chinese, and Mainland Chinese specific.

Many Hong Kong users and netizens strongly critcise that the move is a preparation for Facebook’s entrance of Mainland Chinese market, forcing Hong Kong users to become “one country one system”.  If one wants to retrieve Traditional Chinese interface, one must change the language setting into Taiwan Chinese.

….A netizen critcises Facebook on an internet forum, “The act is to please China…”

The update of Facebook app for iOS does not have the same problem

Netizens’ Comments


不眠王宮 (A popular food blog): Today, I found that Facebook has become Simplified Chinese when I used it on my Samsung phone. It is so disgusting. Does anybody know how to revert to the original state? Thanks

Comments on Google Play Store





Carsica Ng: Rubbish! Simplified Chinese? You regard me as a locust?


Google User: So Facebook has a deal with China? Why does Simplified Chinese f**king appear when the language is Chinese (Hong Kong)? One has to change to Chinese (Taiwan) in order to use Traditional Chinese. However, my voice input has changed from Cantonese to Mandarin. Those who have yet updated must pay attention to these. F**k you Facebook…

Simon Simon: Hong Kong uses Traditional Chinese. Do not want the invasion of Simplified Chinese in Hong Kong.

“Android is for Mainlander”

While many netizens think that Facebook wants to please China by Mainlandising Hong Kong Facebook, other netizens believe the culprit is Android.


Felix: Shouldn’t it be the fault of Android?


Maggie: This is one of the reasons I give up (Samsung Galaxy) Note 2. Most of the apps are in Simplified Chinese. I hate it.



濕膠王: Android is for Mainland Chinese. Not only Facebook but also Amazon (have changed to Simplified Chinese). Even though Hongkongers and Taiwanese complain together, they are all ignored. I have no f**king idea why motherf**kers in HKGolden (a forum) so f**king like Android this f**king rubbish system. Even if you use Traditional Chinese, you are forced to use Simplified Chinese. This is like Ubuntu (a Linux Distribution) in the past – even if you chose Hong Kong, the whole system would still be in Simplified Chinese.

I think that Google is worse than Microsoft in the aspect of respecting language. I don’t have Windows Mobile. Yet, Microsoft was willing to release Cantonese Jyutping input for Hong Kong. I think this is good enough. And I was on an ethnic minority forum and saw posts about Microsoft was willing to add their language, which is only spoken by 200,000 to 300,000 people.

Google only cares about political correctness. Chinese must be Mandarin. Even though there is Cantonese voice input, that rubbish system can’t input Cantonese characters. That voice input is completely rubbish.

Google, finally, has changed from a hero who withdrew from the Chinese market to an evil hegemony like Starbucks and Microsoft.

Amazon Kindle Under Fire
After the latest update of Kindle for Android, both Chinese (Hong Kong) and Chinese (Taiwan) users are forced to use Simplified Chinese interface. Hong Kong and Taiwan users both slam Amazon for disrespecting Traditional Chinese.

Conclusion: Hong Kong is Lack of Soft Power


1.As app has become trendy, people are rushing to develop. They simply don’t have enough resource and energy to localise.
2. Western software companies hire many Shina employees.
3. Hong Kong simply doesn’t put emphasis on the IT industry. Too few apps are created. The influence of Hong Kong is too weak.
4. Hong Kong doesn’t promote her culture to the outside world. Hongkongers themselves overlook the importance of this. However, Shina is different. It has great influence to the world (whether good or bad), making Westerners believe that Simplified Chinese is authentic (Chinese culture). They also have no responsibility to understand our one-country-two-systems. Westerners only think that Hong Kong is same as China after the Handover.

Being Represented by Simplified Chinese is a Humiliation

In the end of November, a netizen found that the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies of Hong Kong Polytechnic University used Simplified Chinese in the Chinese Festival. Netizens are extremely upset that Hong Kong is being represented by Simplified Chinese.


(The original thread has many photos and becomes too long to post. Therefore, only the written part is posted. Click here to view the original.)

[Betray Hong Kong. Betray Chinese Culture. Polytechnic University Uses Simplified Chinese to Promote “Chinese Festival”.]

貓仔黃小虎: I had never expected that Hongkongers can’t even save their own script.

Today, I walked past Polytechnic University and saw Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies used Simplified Chinese to promote that so-called “Chinese Festival”, in which most of the guests are exchange students from foreign countries. It promoted the “beauty of Chinese character”. Without doubt, the organiser is Mainland Chinese students and professors.

I don’t discuss that Simplified Chinese basically is “Not seeing your parent; Love without heart; Production without generation; Factory is empty; Noodle without wheat; Transport without a car; Leading with no conduct; A child without head; Wait without foot; Fly with one wing only; Rise without force; Have cloud no rain; Open and close with no door; Hometown without men; Righteousness becomes terrible; A monster is still a monster.” Basically it violates the structure of Chinese character.

亲, the Simplified Chinese for “parent” – 見(big eye stick person), meaning to see, is gone. Source

Now, you are in Hong Kong, a city that uses Traditional Chinese, shouldn’t it be “do what the Romans do in Rome”? To be frank, as a Hongkonger, now, even our script is hijacked (by Simplified Chinese), it is really humiliating.


On Dec 21th, Facebook released an update and Hong Kong Facebook returns to normal again.

11 thoughts on “Facebook Forces Hong Kong Users to Adopt Simplified Chinese Interface

  1. I have 6 language options on my Galaxy Note I:

    中文(中華人民共和國香港特別行政區) (yes, the full name!)
    English (United States)
    English (United Kingdom)

    This is an obvious ploy to please the CCP, instead of using the regular 中文(香港), 中文(臺灣), and 中文(中国), which the party might view as Android implying that the first two are separate entities from the third, even though this is standard practice.

    HOWEVER, the fact that Facebook and Amazon would use Simplified (Vulgar) Chinese script for the zh-hk locale is an even greater offense.

    1. I think this should be a mistake. They can make mistakes.
      By the way, it’s awful the name of HK…but it’s even more awful the chinese name in pinyin… it sucks!

  2. I don’t get the offense. For someone who’s living in China for a while, I don’t get it.
    Chinese write in traditional and simplified, besides the government who has an old-fashioned vision of the world, I don’t think any Chinese give a fuck of the script you are writing and a few even worships traditional. It’s just a political problem.

    As for me, a simplified Chinese Cangjie user that types simplified characters (I hate pinyin the most), I don’t get where is the problem with simplified characters. What is dangerous is not the form but the content. “Harmonious society” in simplified is 和谐社会 and in traditional is 和諧社會 but in both scripts, those words means NOTHING.

    I think the main focus should not be the characters but the content and the mandalisation of HK. Characters is not a problem, I think.

    1. It is a matter of simplified Chinese being associated with the Communist party, being invented under CCP directive. It worked because much of China was illiterate at the time and didn’t know the traditional forms to begin with. The second round of simplification, however, was a complete disaster, as will be any attempt at simplification in areas that escaped the first round.

      “Regular script” has been mostly stable since the Tang dynasty. Don’t fix what ain’t broken.

      1. Simplified Chinese character itself is not a problem. Even 爱, aka “love” without “heart”, is derived from 草書, the Cursive Script, and it was first seen in novels in Sung Dynasty 宋朝. In my opinion, Simplified Chinese is like the cursive script of English. We seldom see English cursive script in non-handwritten media, like on the PC. It should be the same for Sinitic languages – Simplified Chinese can be used on handwriting and should not be used in printing.

        Why Traditional Chinese users hate Simplified Chinese?
        1. It is connected with the Communist Party.
        2. China doesn’t use Traditional Chinese regularly and some places even ban the use of it. Therefore, Simplified Chinese is wiping out Traditional Chinese.
        3. The frequency of Simplified Chinese appearance is the index of Mainlandisation, the rate of turning into a complete dictatorship regime
        4. Like our cases in here, people are forced to use Simplified Chinese. China pressures the use of it. And big evil international companies pressure Traditional Chinese users to adapt Simplified Chinese to maximise their profits. In the process, the privileges that Simplified Chinese users receive is polarising both groups. The culture and feeling of Traditional Chinese users is being trampled on by governments, big companies and ignorant individuals.

        Communism is not a problem. The Chinese Communist Party is not even Communist anymore. The problem is that you have no choice. You are forced into it.

      2. What??????????????????
        Maybe just 5% of the characters are invented… but the rest were characters derived from the cursive scripts or written by the population extensively.
        For instance, 两 I saw this character in some pic of the KL walled city and I think no mainlander has ever stepped in there!!!

      3. OK, maybe “invent” was the wrong word, but the point is that the implementation of Simplified Chinese was a unilateral decision by a very small group of people, and language simply doesn’t work that way.

  3. By the way, thank you @badcanto for your comment. I think it’s like the americanizacion of the English language…
    By the way, I think that the Chinese g’vt is utterly wrong: mandarin and the simplified characters shouldn’t be compulsory and should be more writting freedom (also political freedom, but that’s a different topic 🙂 )

  4. For that matter, I’ve never been able to figure out why, when I set my character set on Microsoft applications, the Cangjie doesn’t work unless I choose “Taiwan”. “Hong Kong SAR” just doesn’t do anything.

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