“Don’t blame the Chinese” says mall manager on Chinese signs issue

According to one mall manager, it’s not just Chinese business owners who have decided to advertise only in their own language. Koreans, Japanese and Punjabi business owners appear to do the same.

Chinese-only signs are an ongoing issue in Richmond. (Vancouver Sun)

Chinese-only signs are an ongoing issue in Richmond. (Vancouver Sun)

With the issue of Chinese-only signs appearing in the news again and again, just how inclusive or exclusive can they be? How does the issue apply to businesses and other cultures? One mall manager shares his thoughts saying there are no benefits for businesses unless their target are Chinese-speaking customers.

The controversial Chinese language-only sign is an issue that has reappeared several times in the past few months, and is now a “hot issue” for the upcoming election in November.

Allan Ho, the mall manager for the Yaohan Centre, said there were “no benefits in Chinese-only signs” and that he thought it was a “little bit short-sighted”. He said that having English and Chinese on signs is good for businesses, unless the target is specifically aimed at Chinese-speaking customers.

Ho doesn’t support the Chinese-only signs, and adds by having signs with both English and Chinese, it’s a way not to reject English-speaking customers. He makes a point to add that it’s not only the Chinese—he mentions the Korean-, Japanese- and Punjabi-only signs he has seen in other cities and neighbourhoods. “Don’t blame the Chinese,” he said.

PS: This was originally pitched in October 2014.

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About eboe00

Erin Boe is a journalism student at Langara College in Vancouver, B.C.
This entry was posted in Journalism Assignments, Richmond Beat and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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