Companies in China Ask… What’s In a Name Anyway?

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Chinese companies, popping up all over Shanghai and Beijing, bare a striking resemblance in name and/or logo to overseas companies, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. See below a picture of a Chinese local coffee shop called Shanghai Xingbake Cafe Corp.

 chinese_starbucks_web.gif

Look familiar? And the logo is not the only similarity. The word Xingbake means Starbucks in Chinese. Although Starbucks appears to be dealing with the most egregious copycat company, the American corporation is not alone. Here is a list of Chinese brands side by side their overseas predecessors.

chinese_starbucks_chart_web.gif

Advertising and branding experts excuse the Chinese companies saying the copycatters simply lack ingenuity and funds to pay for branding but others aren’t willing to be so generous. Many companies are suing their mimics. Honda won a case against the Motorcycle company Hongda and GM and Chery, a Chinese car company, have recently reached a settlement. Most entertaining of all though are the excuses created by the copycatters. Chery claims its English name is based on the sound of Quirui, the Chinese name, which means “unusually lucky” and Shanghai Xingbake Cafe Corp claims its name is based on the character Simba in “The Lion King,” which in Chinese is Xinba.

Hmmm…

For more branding wars and naming games, see Mother Jones‘s “What’s in a Name.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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