What do people want to know about China?

Stereotypes of China through Google


By:
Marco
Hernandez
Have you ever wondered what people think of you? Using Google Search data we analysed the most common searches made regarding China. The stereotyping reveals as much about the people asking the questions as it does about being Chinese

Google uses its Prediction Application Program Interface (API) to ‘predict’ your question the moment you activate the search bar. Google does this by using data collected according to previous searches made in the same language and location. The predicted questions are often grammatically incorrect as they are based around key words. The most common searches made by people googling ‘Chinese’ things tend to fall into the following categories:

The colour of the splash was created based on the combination of topic results for each search. You can change the question in the drop-down menu to display new results

English
These are the results from Google’s predict API for people typing in English. Use the drop-down menu to change the key search words

Chinese (simplified)
Most users typing in simplified Chinese are from mainland China and have a tendency to use Google search for questions about political issues such as unification and emigration

No API response

No predicted results in simplified Chinese “Why Chinese...” shows this is an uncommon search

Chinese (traditional)
Those using traditional Chinese are typically from Hong Kong or Taiwan, and while the topics for searches on ‘Chinese’ are similar to those made in simplified Chinese, Google’s autocomplete API results show the questions are phrased very differently

No API response

No predicted results in simplified Chinese “Why Chinese...” shows this is an uncommon search

Spanish
Google’s autocomplete results lead us to assume the Spanish-speaking population are mostly interested in Chinese matters of lifestyle with many of their queries being of a culinary nature. But, perhaps most interesting, is that Spanish speakers seem to believe the Chinese do not enjoy going to the beach

No API response

No predicted results in Spanish “Why Chinese...” shows this is an uncommon search

Russian
People making Google searches in Russian ask questions on the most diverse range of topics. Garlic assumes a curiously dominant role, but Russians are also intrigued about Chinese technology and spend a lot of time wondering why the Chinese find Russian children so cute

No API response

No predicted results in Russian “Why Chinese...” shows this is an uncommon search

Portuguese
Google’s autocomplete API would seem to imply Portuguese-speakers are not particularly curious about China, although it does appear the Portuguese have a unique fascination with the Chinese tax system. This presumably relates to a misunderstanding about the Agreement between China and Portugal to prevent double taxation

No API response

No predicted results in Portuguese “Why Chinese...” shows this is an uncommon search

German

No API response

No predicted results in German “Why Chinese...” shows this is an uncommon search

Indonesian
According to the results of Google autocomplete, people typing in Indonesian ask questions on many different topics, but one common theme is the search to unlock the secret behind Chinese economic success

No API response

No predicted results in German “Why Chinese...” shows this is an uncommon search

The data for this graphic is compiled from Google’s Cloud Prediction Application Programming Interface (known as Suggestions API), using the top trending Google searches made since the service launched in 2008. It is constantly updated, according to user’s habits. We collected the data for this project on September 11, 2017.

Do you want to try your own word combination?

USER INSTRUCTIONS
Have some fun using the prediction API.
First, choose the language in which you want to make your query and then input one, two or three simple terms and tap SEARCH

TIPS: Simple and short terms work best. If you want to use another language input the text in that language. Use Google Translate if you need help with the terms

Disclaimer: Wokpo has no control over the results, which may contain offensive material. Google’s Prediction API will be shutdown on April 30, 2018 by Google. After that date this section may also be switched off.

Hi, Internet Explorer user!

This site has some features that may not be compatlibe with your browser. Should you wish to view content, switch browsers to either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to get an awesome experience