Updates Dec 2009: at last, there's an English language version of eBay in Hong Kong; currently says in Beta.
May 2014: this page no longer exists; and there's no apparent link to any English page on HK ebay site [but there are English words like Electronics, Cars, Fashion in the page title used in very top of browser...]
So what follows should have been consigned to history, it seems. - and yet (editing June 2011), more reports of eBay in Hong Kong being unusable in English.
Though I've long heard of eBay, been frustrated trying to register on it (as has my wife) - since the Hong Kong site is only in Chinese. A friend told me that even if try registering with overseas address, can revert to Chinese language site if give a Hong Kong credit card. He joined by browsing to sign-up page, and having an English eBay site's sign-up page open at same time - so could know which info to enter where. Seems daft, especially as English is an official language here. Surely could at least allow people to sign up in English, even if then use English language sites from overseas for buying/selling.
Here's a little correspondence I've had with eBay here:
Hi: I live in Hong Kong; interested in registering with eBay, but site here only in Chinese, which I can't read. Do I just say I'm in the UK (say) - or my Indonesian wife should perhaps say she's in Indonesia? Or are non-Chinese reading Hong Kong residents just utterly unwelcome?
Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write to eBay. My name is Lan. I am happy to assist you further. I understand that you would like to view eBay HK in English. However, I am sorry that eBay HK is currently encoded in traditional Chinese only. Please note that there is no feature available by which you can change the language of an site.
We have passed your suggestion to our product development department for further review. We will look into introducing an English interface on eBay HK. We are committed to making our users' experiences at eBay pleasant and rewarding. Your comments and proposals is appreciated.
If you can't read any Chinese and really want to register in eBay US, the only way to avoid being directed to eBay HK site is to use a US address temporarily. For example: City: Albany State / Province: New York Zip / Postal code: 12201 Country or Region: United States Primary telephone: (212) ***-**** Once your registration is confirmed, you should change the registration information to your true Hong Kong's immediately, including registration country, city, address, phone number, etc., by following the steps outlined for you below:
1. Go to eBay US site, and click on the "site map" link at the top of most eBay pages. 2. Click on the "Change Registration Information" link located under the bolded heading of "My Account". You may be asked to sign in. 3. Once you are on the "Change registration information" page, please update anything that needs to be changed and click on the "change registration information" button. 4. On the next page, you will be asked to review the information you just changed to be sure it is correct. If the information is correct, please click the "Submit" button to accept your changes. I hope you've found this email helpful. Thank you for using eBay! Regards, Lan eBay Hong Kong Customer Support
Seems rather a kerfuffle; note the ironic "Thank you for using eBay!" - when I'm complaining about being unable to use eBay!
Hi Lan: Thanks for this message. I rather think eBay worldwide could use some options for people who are resident in places where they can't read/write native language - not whole websites, but just help with registration in non-local language, providing that language is supported by eBay. Thanks for the tip re registering as US user, then changing details; I may do this.
Spoke of this last night with a friend who uses eBay: he'd solved by having HK and US registration fields on pages side-by-side: could fill in info by reading what was wanted on US page. Seen a few forum posts about this issue with eBay HK, so might be more than a handful of people interested. As I say, not worth a full website translation, but perhaps meriting a little help. (Yahoo likewise seems only focused on Chinese reading members in HK; and like eBay, no matter English is an official language here.) All the best, Martin
Hello, Thank you for writing back to eBay. Your advice on our HK site is appreciated highly and I have submit your advice to relevant department for further review. Thank you again for your precious advice! Regards, Lan eBay Hong Kong Customer Support
- my advice clearly so "precious" it resulted in no action whatsoever. Googling, can see that others too have encountered the same problems.