If you are an expat in Guangzhou and run into any governmental or public service problems, call 960169 and you will get free, instant interpretation services in English, Japanese and Korean.
The Guangzhou Multilingual Public Service Platform (GMPSP) was launched at the China Telecom Dongpu Call Center on July 31. The Guangzhou Multilingual Public Service Hotline (960169) also began services on the same day.
The launching ceremony of GMPSP and 960169 hotline is held at the China Telecom Dongpu Call Center on July 31. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Expats in Guangzhou can get 24-hour interpretation service in English as well as Japanese and Korean interpretation services from 9 am to 9 pm by calling 960169, said Lei Weiju, Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government.
The 960169 hotline provides instant interpretation service for government departments at all levels in Guangzhou and informs expats about other hotlines including, but not limited to, telecommunications, transportation, water, power, gas and banking services.
If you have any language problems while handling public service sectors, or calling the Guangzhou Government Service Hotline 12345, or emergency contact numbers such as 110, 120 and 119, you can call 960169 to ask for help, and the operator will assist you to communicate with a third party by talking on speaker phone or establishing a three-party conference call.
The new hotline does not include services in judicial or prosecutive incidents, matters involving terminologies of certain industries, and confidential matters including, but not limited to, state secrets, commercial secrets, and personal privacy.
Lei Weiju (R2), Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
According to the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, about 83,400 expats are currently living in Guangzhou, and the United States, Japan and South Korea are the top three foreign countries with the highest number of nationals living in Guangzhou for more than six months. South Koreans account for the largest percentage of both temporary and permanent expats. Service times in Japanese and Korean will be extended and interpretation services of additional languages will be introduced in the future based on its operation, according to GMPSP officials.
Hong Sungwook, Consul General of South Korea in Guangzhou, said that there are over 20,000 South Koreans living in Guangzhou, and they need instant interpretation service when dealing with visas or emergencies in their daily life. The Consulate will promote the hotline by posting it on the Consulate’s official website as well as informing all the South Korean organizations in Guangzhou of this hotline.
Daishouji Toshiyuki, Deputy Consul General of Japan in Guangzhou, pointed out that over 7000 Japanese are now living in Guangzhou, most of whom work in the service and auto industries. People working for small enterprises or visiting Guangzhou are in need of interpretation service in many ways.
Guests pose for a group photo at the launching ceremony. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Lei Weiju said the service is one of the strategies that the department launched to optimize services for expats as more expats are working and studying in the city.
Over the past few years, Guangzhou has been constantly striving to improve its city image, optimize the working and living environment, and build itself into a model of providing first-rate service to foreign enterprises and expats in the Guangdong-Hong Kong Macao Greater Bay Area. For example, Guangzhou launched a WeChat mini program “广州英语标识纠错” last year, aiming to improve the quality of public signs in the city by providing more accurate translations.
About 960169 and 12345
The GMPSP and 960169 hotlines are established by the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government and the Information Office of the People's Government of Guangzhou Municipality. The Translation and Interpretation Division of the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal Government and the China Telecom Guangzhou Branch are also working with city officials to provide these services.
The Guangzhou Government Service Hotline 12345 provides services in government affairs inquiries, appeals about people’s livelihood, interaction between government and the public, complaints, and efficiency supervision. It was launched on January 2, 2014 and now has over 700 operators offering 24/7 service.
Authors: Jasmine Yin, Monica Liu
Editors: Olivia Yang, Chris