Taipei landmarks relisted on Google Maps as 'Chinese'

A number of famous locations across the capital succumbed to alterations, including Taipei 101.

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Taipei 101 Building on Google Maps, relisted as "Chinese Taipei 101"

Taipei 101 Building on Google Maps, relisted as "Chinese Taipei 101" (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Multiple landmarks across Taipei were recently relisted on Google Maps to read as "Chinese" or belongings of China.

CNA details that many notable buildings and locations had their names altered, including Taipei 101 (台北101大樓), which was changed to read as Chinese Taipei 101 (中華台北101大樓). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday evening that it had requested Google’s Taiwan office to quickly rectify the mistakes and strengthen server security.

Other landmarks that succumbed to modifications include Taipei City Hospital Ren’ai Branch, Jian Guo Weekend Flower Market, and Taipei Public Library. The Defense building located in Dazhi (大直) was also relabeled, from ROC Ministry of National Defense (中華民國國防部) to China Ministry of National Defense (中國民國國防部).

MOFA spokesperson Andrew H. C. Lee (李憲章) said Google was contacted immediately after the ministry learned of the incident. The company agreed to revise the mistakes as soon as possible, although some are still to be rectified at the time of publication.


Taipei Jian Guo Holiday Flower Market, still displayed as "Chinese Taipei Jian Guo Holiday Flower Market" (Google Maps screenshot)

Google issued a statement concerning the matter that revealed, in a move to open-up its information platform, it allows the general public to make suggestions regarding place names and apply to change them. Because the Maps department in the company’s Taiwan branch is unstaffed, requests to alter place names currently go through to the head office, where they are dealt with by non-Taiwanese personnel.

Lee said MOFA will maintain close contact with Google and follow up on its progress correcting the errors in order to prevent similar occurrences in the future, reports CNA.

This is not the first time Taiwanese landmark names have been altered on Google Maps, as the director of National Taiwan Library (國立台灣圖書館) discovered earlier this month that the book repository had been relabelled “Taipei, China Library” (中國台北圖書館).