[Updated] YouTube app displaying Chinese characters on Smart TV units, issue being looked into

Here’s the crux of the article in video form:

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on April 11, 2022) follows:

YouTube is the most successful video platform in the world thanks to the variety of its content and its wide availability on all types of devices.

Among the devices on which YouTube is available through a dedicated app are Smart TVs. However, currently, some YouTube users are facing some issues on this platform.

More specifically, the YouTube app interface is suddenly displaying Chinese characters on some Smart TVs, for no apparent reason (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

YouTube app for Smart TV randomly displaying Chinese characters

According to multiple reports, the YouTube app for Smart TV units started to display Chinese characters randomly throughout the UI.

youtube-app-displaying-chinese-characters-smart-tv-1
Source

Samsung TV YouTube App – Chinese characters

Just turned my TV on and noticed there are Chinese characters on the YouTube app. The language is set to English and is in English but various things are in Chinese but with English labels. For example the play button is in Chinese but shows play under the characters. Any idea why this can happen?
Source

Some users point out that the characters can also include other languages and strange icons.

Random Chinese-like characters on my YouTube app for Smart tv

Today, my tv has started showing random Chinese-like characters in my YouTube app for Smart tv (in the lateral menu). They aren’t even Chinese, there are capital letters and strange icons too. Other users are complaining of the same today, and from the research I’ve done, this has been happening on and off in many countries for several years and different tv brands.
Source

YouTube team is already aware, potential workarounds

The YouTube team is already aware of the issue in question and is investigating. But, there are no details yet on an estimated arrival date for a fix.

youtube-app-displaying-chinese-characters-smart-tv-2
Source

However, in the meantime, there are a couple of potential workarounds that could help you. First, you can try the following:

This happened to me this week, after reading all of this, I decided to try a few things. The one that worked was:

Uninstall YouTube app

Turn off TV

Remove power cable wait a few seconds and attach it again (I would imagine waiting a few minutes for it to fully turn off would also do the trick)

Turn on and install YouTube again.
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If that doesn’t work for you, there is another potential workaround:

youtube-app-displaying-chinese-characters-smart-tv-3
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We will update this story once new events related to the matter arise.

Update 1 (April 12)

04:45 pm (IST): TeamYouTube on Twitter is now asking the affected users to keep their TV app updated to the latest version.

Update 2 (April 13)

09:47 am (IST): TeamYouTube on Twitter has informed users that they are working on a fix for this issue, however, they did not provide any ETA for the fix.

Update 3 (April 14)

13:31 pm (IST): A user pointed out that the Chinese characters turned to Arabic and then again reverted back to Chinese after a while. However, not many users have reported the same problem.

youtube-app-chinese-characters
(Source)

Update 4 (April 15)

01:22 pm (IST): YouTube support on Twitter is now asking those affected to uninstall and re-install the app to see if the issue is resolved.

Update 5 (April 16)

11:43 am (IST): As we wait for a fix, one of those affected says YouTube support has shared some troubleshooting steps as potential solutions. You can check them below.

youtube-chinese-troubleshooting-steps
(Source)

Update 6 (April 18)

05:35 pm (IST): A user pointed out that this issue appeared after changing the ISP (Internet Service Provider). Thus, users can try re-installing the YouTube app using a different ISP and see if it resolves this problem.

Update 7 (April 20)

04:11 pm (IST): TeamYouTube now says that they are aware of the random Chinese character appearing on most living room devices.

This means that besides smart TVs, this problem might also be present on other devices including streaming sticks and media players.

NOTE: You can also check the YouTube bugs/issues tracker.

Featured Image: Samsung

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Jean Leon

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it.