Location Names

Mainland China and Outlying Regions

*Recent process change: All content referencing mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan must be reviewed and approved before distribution by SD Head APAC and SD Manager China.*

The names of many of the regions surrounding China have political implications. When discussing any of these regions—or any group that includes any of these regions—do not use the word “country.” “Market,” “region,” “economy,” and “location” are acceptable.

For example:

The following countries locations have seen strong market growth: China, Taiwan, and India.

Following is our guidance for particularly sensitive areas.

Location Guidance
China Not People’s Republic of China.
Hong Kong SAR SAR should be included in maps and lists. Hong Kong on its own can be used in regular text, just like the other cities on the Associated Press list (see below).

Do not use Hong Kong, China, or Hong Kong (China).

Do not spell out special administrative region in text, figures, or tables. Do add SAR to the Abbreviations list and spell out.

Do not use country in connection with Hong Kong; economy is acceptable.

Macau SAR SAR should be added in all cases in text and figures and tables.

Do not use Macau, China, or Macau (China). Do not spell out special administrative region. Do add SAR to the Abbreviations list and spell out.

Do not use country in connection with Macao; economy is acceptable.

Taiwan Not Taiwan (China). Do not use country in
connection with Taiwan; economy is acceptable.

Please consult the World Bank Editorial Style Guide for further guidelines on official location names, currencies used, and any special treatment.

For specific rules regarding maps of China, please see the Brand Center.

Other Special Cases

The following are some of the other locations for which sensitivity is required when discussing.

Location Guidance
Côte d’Ivoire Never Ivory Coast; note circumflex.
Diaoyu Islands (Chinese name); also called Senkaku in Japanese (claimed by both). Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.
Dokdo Islands (Korean name); also called Takeshima in Japanese (claimed by North Korea, South Korea, and Japan). Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.
North Korea Always use North Korea (not just Korea).
Paracel Islands Also known as Xisha Islands in Chinese and Hoàng Sa Islands in Vietnamese (claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam). Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.
South Korea Always use South Korea (not just Korea).
Spratly Islands Claimed by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and to a lesser extent Malaysia and Brunei. Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.

 

City Names

For cities on the Associated Press list (see below), do not use the state or country name. For all other cities, spell out the state or country name (i.e., do not use the abbreviation). Note that the style for references is different; see the References document.

When referring to our non-US offices, using the city names alone, without country mention, is sufficient (e.g., New York City, London, Hong Kong).

US Cities: No State Required

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Honolulu
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis
  • New Orleans
  • New York City
  • Oklahoma City
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • St. Louis
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington, DC [note the exception to use the abbreviation]

Non-US Cities: No Country or Region Required

  • Amsterdam
  • Baghdad
  • Bangkok
  • Beijing
  • Beirut
  • Berlin
  • Brussels
  • Cairo
  • Djibouti
  • Dublin
  • Geneva
  • Gibraltar
  • Guatemala City
  • Havana
  • Helsinki
  • Hong Kong
  • Islamabad
  • Istanbul
  • Jerusalem
  • Johannesburg
  • Kuwait City
  • London
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Madrid
  • Mexico City
  • Milan
  • Monaco
  • Montreal
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • New Delhi
  • Panama City
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Quebec City
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Rome
  • San Marino
  • Sao Paulo
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Stockholm
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto
  • Vatican City
  • Vienna
  • Zurich

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