‘Every street is a road back to home’: netizens heatedly discuss new detailed Taiwan city maps on mainland apps
Published: Aug 05, 2022 06:22 PM
Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. Photo:Xinhua

Chinese netizens on Friday heatedly discussed the detailed maps of Taiwan island cities provided by Baidu and Gaode map services, which allegedly became newly available since Thursday, the day the People's Liberation Army kicked off live-fire missile drills surrounding the island following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's reckless visit to the island.

The hashtag reading "maps can show every street on Taiwan island" began trending on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Friday. It had been viewed over 1.1 billion times during the day.

The Global Times discovered that using Chinese online map apps Gaode and Baidu, detailed 2D maps of cities like Taipei and Tainan have been available on Friday. And on the apps, the island was identified as Taiwan Province. 

Some netizens said they found the service was available since Thursday, with much more detailed maps than previously.

Baidu on Friday told the Global Times that they always identified the island as province according to related national regulations and laws, but it did not clarify when they started to provide detailed maps of the island. 

According to Baidu, at present, Baidu Maps provides users with services in Taiwan including driving route planning, navigation, walking route planning, bus planning, road conditions and point of interest (POI) location retrieval.

Baidu told the Global Times that, currently, maps can also check road data such as bus, subway, and real-time traffic conditions in various cities in Taiwan. As for the source of the data, Baidu said it is constructed in accordance with the open data including the "Administrative Divisions of the People's Republic of China" issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and some third-party valid data, to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the map.

For some cities popular with tourists, such as Taipei and Kaohsiung, maps also support the display of popular attractions, food, and itinerary recommendations to help users plan their activities.

Photo: A screenshot from Baidu Map

Photo: A screenshot from Baidu Map

Netizens are also interested in the names of city streets in Taiwan, many of which were named after locations across the mainland such as Shanghai, Nanjing and Fujian. And the arrangement of the streets is also in accordance with the location of these places on the mainland. Netizens said the names of the streets indicated the homesickness of older generations on the island, many of whom still have family members in the mainland.

"Every street is a road back to home," a Weibo user said. 

"Every factor on the island demonstrates the island is part of China and everybody knows it. Only the secessionist forces try to deny this," said another.

Netizens also found an interesting steakhouse named "xiaotongyi," literally meaning "little reunification," and said they hope they could go there some day. 

Netizens flooded Baidu Maps to search Shanxi Sliced Noodle restaurant on Friday, after one such restaurant was shown on the map of Taipei, leading to the system to slow down.

Baidu apologized for the problem and said they had fixed it.