Following Vietnam’s complaint, weather app Windy has removed the Chinese name “Sansha” in all languages for the Hoang Sa Archipelago, known internationally as Paracel Islands.
It has also removed the name “Tam Sa” that came up if the language was set to Vietnamese.
However, it has left the archipelago’s name empty, instead of using Hoang Sa, although it uses “Truong Sa” for the Spratly Islands to the south.
Tran Cong Truc, former head of the Government Border Committee, said Windy removing the name “Sansha” from the map was a noteworthy correction. The application however must add the Vietnamese name Hoang Sa for the archipelago instead of leaving it blank, he said:
“This is an application with millions of users so it needs to give locations’ correct names instead of leaving them blank. If the language is English then it could call Hoang Sa the Paracel Islands, and if the language is Vietnamese, then it must show Hoang Sa.”
Following Windy’s latest correction, many Vietnamese users continued to question its decision to ignore the existence of Paracel Islands instead of using the Vietnamese name Hoang Sa.
Windy is a popular app with over five million downloads by Android users. Following the naming controversy, many Vietnamese users have reacted by giving it a single star on Google Play.
Vietnam’s information authorities subsequently attempted but failed to contact the application’s managers, prompting them to threaten to restrict Vietnamese users’ access to the app last month.
China seized the Hoang Sa Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has since been illegally occupying the islands.
Windy has removed the Chinese name for Vietnam’s Paracel Islands from its website and mobile app.
In 2012 it established the so-called Sansha City with Woody Island as its seat.
The “city” also covers a number of reefs in Vietnam’s Truong Sa Archipelago that China seized by force in 1988 and the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines.