I have checked a number of websites, and although most agree about the main countries that use traditional and simplified Chinese, I am not sure about countries where there are mixed populations of Chinese speaking people. I would like to know which ones are definite and which ones are probably in the grey area.

From what I can gather:

  • Traditional: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau
  • Simplified: China, Singapore
  • Both or uncertain: Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia
  • 1
    maybe we can first make the list of regional authorities printing official documents in chinese. because civilians can deliberately choose what to use. Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 13:29
  • It would be better to refer Taiwan as "Republic of China", which is the name the Chinese Taipei government is using on their passport, although only 22 out of 193 member states of UN admit its independent status. Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 23:43

2 Answers 2


Chinese is not an official language of Malaysia, but there are many Chinese-education schools and they use simplified Chinese exclusively. All newspapers and official documents also use only simplified Chinese. I think the change from traditional to simplified Chinese happened in the 80s.

  • 1
    Both traditional and simplified characters are used in Malaysian newspapers. In most newspapers (e.g. 星洲日報) the headings (e.g. headlines, article titles) are usually in traditional characters, with the body in simplified characters.
    – Flux
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 0:03

Hate to be pedantic, but Hongkong and Macau are not countries, but administrative regions within China. Furthermore, Taiwan’s status is a bit blurred because of the one China principle.

As for your question, Chinese is not official language in Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia, so the issue boils down to actual usage, which is mixed and differs by generations. Same with Chinese communities in the West, where the complex script is more common, though. Japan also uses a simplified script.

Only China (minus Hongkong and Macau) and Singapore use simplified officially.

  • Fair point about Hong Kong and Macau, although Taiwan is for most practical purposes a different country. I am aware that there are some trends as far as traditional versus simplified Chinese is concerned, can you comment on this? Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 21:12
  • 1
    What do you mean by Xiamen?
    – wddd
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 21:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.