November 24, 2018 | 11:00 am GMT+7
A screenshot of website Windy.com shows it refers to Hoang Sa as “Sansha,” or “Tam Sa” if the language is set to Vietnamese.
Vietnam will restrict use of weather app Windy because it uses a Chinese name for the Hoang Sa Archipelago.
The app refers to Hoang Sa, known internationally as Paracel Islands, as “Sansha.”
Le Quang Tu Do, deputy head of the Broadcasting and Electronic Information Authority under the Ministry of Information and Communications, said the decision was made after the agency was unable to get the app correct the name of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands.
Do said his agency had attempted to contact managers of Windy.com to request that the archipelago’s name be corrected, but were unable to identify the site’s owners or find their contact information.
“We have found that this weather forecast website has an international domain name, is hosted on an overseas server, and does not have a legal status in Vietnam so cannot be handled in accordance with domestic law,” Do said.
The information ministry will, therefore, take technical measures to restrict Vietnamese users from accessing Windy.com, as well as other websites containing inaccurate information about Vietnam’s sovereignty.
Do also called on the public to only use websites and applications that use official maps without wrong information on Vietnam’s sovereignty.
As of Saturday morning, the website Windy.com and its mobile application referred to Hoang Sa as “Sansha,” or “Tam Sa” if the language is set to Vietnamese.
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.
Information authorities in the central province of Khanh Hoa had earlier this month reported on this issue to the ministry’s Broadcasting and Electronic Information Authority, asking for guidance on how to handle Windy.
China seized the Hoang Sa Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has since been illegally occupying the islands.
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 Spratly Islands that China seized by force in 1988 and the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines.
- Weather forecast app angers Vietnam with Chinese name for Paracel Islands
- Get Local Weather Forecast on Navigation Bar with Navbar Weather
- CES 2019: IBM weather forecasts to be ‘most accurate EVER’ with 200% improved system
- Weather Channel app sued over alleged mining of users' data
- UK weather forecast: Chill to be banished as temperatures change
- Met Office verdict on snow weather forecast for this weekend
- City of LA sues Weather Channel app for sharing location data with advertisers
- 6 things you didn’t know you could do on Snapchat – from Shazam to weekly weather forecasts
- Weather forecast tips: 4 key things to consider when checking the forecast