A Chinese company has just proved that choosing a name in China is tricky both for foreign and local firms. Last year, Airbnb made headlines after netizens made fun of its strange-sounding Chinese name Aibiying (爱彼迎, lit. “to welcome each other with love”). Last week, however, one Chinese delivery company renamed itself Fast Dog (Kuaigou Dache 快狗打车) and inadvertently insulted their drivers.

Logistics platform 58 Suyun (58速运) changed its name to Fast Dog on August 19 causing an uproar among employees. In Chinese, the word “dog” can be used as an insult meaning “damned” and is used in several derogatory expressions. Some of the drivers saw the name change as an attack on their dignity. One driver noted that introducing themselves as Fast Dog to clients will sound like they are cursing them.

The poor choice of animal was not the only confusing part of the 58 Suyun’s branding endeavor. The company’s new name also wrongly implies that the service will transport passengers since “dache” (打车) means “call a taxi.” The company has issued a statement on August 20 apologizing for the confusion:

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.