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.