China has started cracking down on local establishments with “foreign-worshipping” names such as “Victoria Gardens,” “Beautiful Seattle Bay” and “Little Spanish Village.”
The provincial government of Hainan recently ordered 84 buildings to get renamed because of their names being considered “too foreign.”
Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, also announced a list of 98 businesses with names that are said to be too “foreign,” “weird” and “difficult to pronounce or understand.”
Among the names mentioned on both lists include businesses “Paris Mansion,” “Oriental Rome Gardens,” “California North Lane,” “Great Bear Eurasia Hotel” and “Xi’an Imperial Art Museum.”
Seemingly innocent names such as “6th Courtyard” or “Courtyard Number 8” are also on the lists. Even common terms like “central,” “international,” “riverside” or “mountain” if included in the names were also considered to be inappropriate.
These government orders stemmed from the joint national campaign last December that targeted four types of improper names, such as exaggeration, unrelated foreign elements, repetition and strange or vulgar words.
The names purportedly violate the core values of socialism, damage national pride and negatively affect the lives of China’s people, Shanghaiist reports.
“Vienna Hotels,” a Shenzhen-based hotel chain operating in over 100 cities across the country, is among a few businesses expressing opposition against this campaign.
The popular hotel chain, which was established in 1993, argued that it should be excluded from the order because it owns a registered trademark on its name, at least until 2022.
Expressing its full support of the campaign, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, advised that the crackdown must be “prudently and appropriately” carried out, noting that newly-built residential areas and major projects should be its primary targets.
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