Expats share views on new English version of SZ government website

Writer: Chen Xiaochun  | Editor: Holly Wang  | From:  | Updated: 2018-12-04

Email of the writer: 654789759@qq.com

A new English version of Shenzhen Government Online began trial operation Friday after undergoing a major upgrade. Its operator Shenzhen Daily yesterday interviewed seven expats from different industries, including marketing, design, engineering and law, who have checked out the website.

“The content looks very complete! I find it easy to navigate and think it has the information foreigners are looking for. I love how the contact button will actually give you relevant information about specific areas and topics. Now I’m actually interested in this website,” said Norma Patricia Torres Contreras from Costa Rica, who works in marketing.

“Information about border checkpoints is very useful,” said French engineer Yannick Bilcot, who gave the website a thumbs-up.

“For once, there is an official English website from the Chinese Government that is well done! The website is really complete at first view. We need more websites like this, websites that are not obsolete and using new tech. It’s a good thing for Shenzhen, the tech city,” said another French engineer, John-Michael To.

“Wow! I hadn’t checked it much before, but it looks great. I couldn’t find the info about government grants before on the Chinese version, but the info I found on the current one looks good and relevant,” said Filip Ola Emil Jersling from Sweden.

Baptiste Maingon, a French designer, said the website is very efficient. However, the design of the website could be more harmonious with a coherent global style and identity.

“The design is oriented to highlight the information, but of course the design could always be better. The categories can be found efficiently. I like the image slider on the top. It is eye-catching,” said Maingon.

“I like the design. It’s clear, bright, nice and modern, and easy to find information. The English translation is good. The website has efficient resources and loads fast. But sometimes surfing between pages is a bit slow. For the pages of government officials and departments, it would be better if you included graphs, tables and more colors. I like the pages with videos and photos. The section on services is great,” said Patrice Guilemond, a French software engineer.

“As for the technical part, it’s better if you can switch from http (not secured) to https (secured). The search engine seems not to be working. I would say it’s a good start, but still has room for improvement,” he said.

Luis Felipe Borja, an Ecuadorian lawyer working in Shenzhen, thinks that it’s good to have all of the sections on the homepage, including the news, personal affairs, business, saying, “Then you have the ‘About SZ’ section, which I would actually put at the end and push up the travel and life guide.”

“As for the government part, it’s nice that the officials put their emails there. It’s a nice way to show how open they are to the public. The news and ‘About SZ’ pages are nice. The services pages are nice and you can get the information you want.”

Regarding the articles in the services and law sections, Borja suggested adding a link to the Chinese version at the end of the articles after a note reading, “The text above is a translation of the Chinese version and for reference only. In case of any discrepancy between the two versions, the original published Chinese version shall prevail.”

“Because, personally, it’s not easy for me to find the Chinese version,” said Borja. He also suggested a guide be added to the left side of the section on laws, dividing the content into property laws, civil laws, etc., to make things clearer.

The English website is an official website of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government to facilitate its functions, publicize administrative information and provide services to the public, especially the international community.

With the increasing number of expats living, working and traveling in Shenzhen, and foreign enterprises setting up offices here, the old version of the website was far from meeting the needs of expats.

The website’s target users include expats living and working in Shenzhen, expats who intend to invest in and travel to Shenzhen, and expats who wish to know more about the city.

The website consists of eight main sections, namely Shenzhen Government, News, About SZ, Services, Business, Travel, Life Guide and Laws. The government channel publishes information about the Shenzhen government. The news channel publishes the latest news and notices in the city.

The services channel, divided between personal affairs and enterprise affairs, facilitates different kinds of affairs, including visa, checkpoint, accommodation, marriage and birth, establishment and alteration of enterprise, and employment services.

The business channel gives information about the business environment, investment policies, key industries of the city, etc. As for the life guide channel, readers can access information on education, hospitals, cultural facilities, sports facilities, transportation, banks and utilities and communications.