More grief from Google's dorky Chinese name

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on July 17, 2007

Last year I wrote on the Asiatech blog about Google’s goofy choice of Chinese name. The company’s execs decided they wanted something that sounded a bit like “Google,” so they came up with “Guge,” (pronounced “goo” and “guh”). Unfortunately, the Chinese characters translate into “Valley Song.” Google fans in China, outraged that such a cool company could come up with such an unhip name, went online to protest.

I suppose they’ve somehow managed to get over their disappointment, since the noguge.com website seems to be out of service. But suddenly Google’s awkward Chinese name is back in the news because there’s actually another company that wants exclusive rights it. The folks at Beijing Guge Science and Technology Ltd. claim that, no matter how dorky, Guge is a good name and they had it first. Beijing Guge is now suing Google in Chinese court. As if the story wasn’t strange enough, consider this line from the report in Shanghai newspaper Eastday about the lawsuit: Tian Yunshan, the company directory for Beijing Guge, “declined to disclose what the company main businesses are.” Maybe Google China’s lawyers will be able to get it out of him in court.

Reader Comments

JadeBJ

July 17, 2007 4:05 PM

I've always thought it was a stupid name.

Chinese companies - especially ones with "Science and Technology Ltd." in their name (and trust me, there are literally hundreds of thousands of them)- rarely actually say what they do. More than likely it owns a few sweat shops or runs a a kiln slavery ring somewhere - the translation science and technology means absolutely nothing. I doubt that Google will lose, as I assume Google registered the name and characters correctly (there is a strict list of company names that is actually enforced in China) and that Beijing Guge - whatever they do - probably did not as most companies cut whatever corners they can. Doubt this will become a big story and will most likely won't even need to come to a settlement, as Google should be able to easily prove they are the correct owner of the name. Either way, still a stupid name.

Katie Li

July 23, 2007 4:19 AM

Can you please at least trying to talk civilised and not slandering other company like that please, if it is a stupid name, then why did Google choose it ?? How do you know that they are running sweat shops and kiln slavery ring ?? Are you working for them ?? The same thing can be said for Google that they are secretly running a few sweat shops and kiln slavery ring. Next time please do not associate one thing to another like this. It is a Science and Technology company. And how do know Google will win ??? Are you one of the judge ??? We shall see who will win. This is not a futile accusation by that company, if you read the report you will see that it says many clients keep calling that company asking issues about Google which has nothing to do with Beijing Buge.

sam

October 30, 2008 12:57 PM

i like it .... so there

Nellie S

April 12, 2010 12:30 PM

Guge doesn't sound so bad. Think how embarrassed one Chinese company must feel after they realised that calling their company TWAT wasn't such a good idea. Seriously! Check it out: TW Allison Training at http://tiny.cc/pj91x

Now Google mustn't feel so bad!

Fredfinger

September 18, 2010 6:47 AM

TWAT! What an incredibly humbling name. Is TW Allison training from Taiwan?

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