The English-language website of Futian District Government has elements that are useful, but there is still room for improvement, according to expatriates who offered advice at Thursday’s meeting on the issue held at the district government’s headquarters.
The meeting was organized by the district government, who aimed to have people from different walks of life share their views on the website and how it could be improved. The site (www.futian.gov.cn) was launched in August last year thanks to cooperation between the district government and Shenzhen Daily.
It offers a combination of the latest news about Futian and guides on issues that concern expatriates in the area, such as visa applications and information about transportation, among other things.
“Given the district’s considerable investment in the website, creating a more aesthetically pleasing user interface would make sense,” said American Kevin Pinner, a copy editor at Shenzhen Daily.
Pinner also suggested posting advertisements for the site at landmarks, hospitals, government bureaus and other locations where expatriates would be likely to appreciate informational resources.
Aaron Robin, a local architect, said he was pleased to find that the website is not just simply a copy of the Chinese-language version. Robin and Pinner both suggested that the addresses listed on the site include Chinese characters, since pinyin without tonal indications often proves useless when trying to find places.
“That way if I take a taxi, I can simply show the taxi driver the address on the website,” said Robin.
He also suggested the website include information on tax laws.
An Indian businessman, Suresh Babu Sirigeri, said the website should have a section providing the latest information on foreign business delegations visiting Shenzhen.
Sirigeri said that information would provide links between local expats and business delegations from their home countries, which could bolster communication and cooperation.
The website is one facet of the district’s efforts to become what it calls an internationally friendly “global village.” The other efforts include the establishment of Shenzhen’s first expat volunteer team, a yearly concert and international friendship awards for expats.