McDonald’s new Chinese name mixed in translation

McDonalds has chosen a new name in China, but as Anita Li reports that’s not going down well in the country.

(REUTERS / SOCIAL MEDIA WESBITES) – McDonald’s is getting a lot of air time in China right now – but not in a good way.

Bloggers are posting mock ads online –

Showing what they think of the company’s new registered business name in China -“Golden Arches”.


“I’m Anita Li in Shanghai. Golden Arches may be a well-known nickname for McDonald’s in the West, but while it sounds OK in English, it comes across quite differently in Chinese. The word people here are using to describe it is ‘Tu’ – which can be loosely translated as ‘low-brow’ or ‘peasant-like’ – not the sort of image that a global restaurant chain would want to be associated with”

When it comes to choosing a Chinese name for a foreign brand –

companies usually find characters that sound similar to the original name –

But with a positive meaning.

But “Golden Arches” – which has been literally translated to “Jin Gong Men” – isn’t going down well.

Some bloggers think it sounds like a brand of pig feed –

While others say it comes across as crude and tacky – like a casino.

But the new name may not be all bad for McDonald’s –

Which plans to nearly double its number of stores in China by 2022.

Since word of the name change got out last week –

The number of mentions it’s got on Weibo – China’s version of Twitter – has exploded –

Meaning a whole lot of free marketing.

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