This weekend, why not head down to the old “Golden Arches” for some tasty Golden Archnuggets or a Big Gol?
Because, for some strange reason, McDonald’s China has decided to change its Chinese company name from the extremely familiar “Maidanglao” (麦当劳) to the more rustic “Jingongmen” (金拱门), which translates into English as “Golden Arches,” a reference to the fast food chain’s iconic logo.
News of the name change went ultra-viral on Chinese social media yesterday with netizens gleefully ridiculing “Golden Arches.” Eventually, McDonald’s was forced to release a statement on Weibo, reassuring its customers that restaurants in China would continue to go by the well-recognized “Maidanglao” label, a rough transliteration of the company’s English name, which originated decades ago in Hong Kong.
Either way, netizens aren’t lovin’ the change.
On Weibo, some argued that the name sounded more like it belonged to a rustic countryside village or a traditional Chinese medicine shop than a cheap fast food brand. Netizens mocked the name as an unpleasant combination of “awkward” and “earthy,” warning the company that if it ever actually did switch over to the new moniker then, “You lose the Chinese market.”
McDonald’s has big plans to open up 2,000 more locations in China by 2022 and is targeting double-digit sales growth figures in the mainland each year. The name change comes after the American fast food giant entered into a mega-deal with China’s CITIC Ltd and the Carlyle Group earlier this year, selling away most of its China and Hong Kong stores to the two conglomerates.
Choosing the right Chinese name can often be a serious challenge for foreign companies looking to do business in China. Back in May, Airbnb was similarly mocked after unveiling its unpleasant sounding new Chinese name “爱彼迎” (Àibǐyíng).
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