WeChat translates 'black foreigner' into racial slur

From BBC - October 13, 2017

Chinese messaging app WeChat has apologised after its software used the N-word as an English translation for the Chinese for "black foreigner".

The company blamed its algorithms for producing the error.

It was spotted by Ann James, a black American living in Shanghai, when she texted her Chinese colleagues to say she was running late.

Ms James, who uses WeChat's translation feature to read Chinese responses, got the reply: "The [racial slur] is late."

Horrified, she checked the Chinese phrase - "hei laowai" - with a co-worker and was told it was a neutral expression, not a profanity.

WeChat acknowledged the error to China-focused news site Sixth Tone, saying: "We are very sorry for the inappropriate translation. After receiving users' feedback, we immediately fixed the problem."


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