Google Assistant Now Supports Simplified Chinese on Android Smartphones
OC Workbench reported earlier this week that Google Assistant now supports simplified Chinese (Mandarin). Traditional Chinese has been supported since last fall and is commonly used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Simplified Chinese is most common in mainland China. The difference between the two versions is not how the language is spoken but instead arises in written communication as the characters were modified in simplified Chinese to make them easier to learn and read.
Google Assistant may not be available today in mainland China, but there are millions of Chinese living throughout the world that do want to use Google Assistant with their native character representations in the chat interface. The company has made no secret of its interest in re-entering the mainland Chinese market and this shows both commitment to the country and an easier onramp if it does once again receive permission to operate by local officials.
Not Available Through Google Home, Only on Smartphones
Chinese is not supported on Google Home or the other smart speakers and smart displays. Simplified Chinese is only available through Google Assistant on smartphones today. It also is only available today on Android smartphones and appears to not yet been implemented for the iOS Google Assistant app. The iOS app does, however, support traditional Chinese. You can look for simplified Chinese in your Android smartphone Google Assistant account under Settings > Languages > 中文(简体).