CHINA Controversial rebranding: Delivery company’s new name irritates its drivers

CHINA

Controversial rebranding: Delivery company’s new name irritates its drivers

CGTN

03:23, August 21, 2018

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(Photo: CGTN)

Chinese intra-city logistics and delivery platform “58 Suyun” recently renamed itself “Kuaigou,” which literally means “fast dog” in Chinese, as a way to rebrand its image. However, their workers in central China’s Zhengzhou City are not happy about their company’s move, Henan Television reported.

The drivers, who are irritated by the requirement to put a sticker printed with the new name on their trucks, gathered at the local branch office last Friday to express their anger regarding the name change.

Many of them believed that the name was humiliating, since “dog” usually has a negative connotation in the Chinese language. They pointed out that the name was misleading as it implies that either they are “dogs,” the people they serve are “dogs,” or that they are transporting dogs.

In fact, the drivers’ concerns are not without reason. Although the dog is a symbol of loyalty in Chinese culture, there are indeed some seriously insulting meanings associated with a dog. A driver even showed a customer’s vicious message in the video: "Get me a dog to complete my order."

Another employee expressed his concern: “If I contact a customer, am I supposed to say, ‘Hello, this is [your] Fast Dog speaking?’ I can’t say that! I’d be insulting myself and the company!”

The employee further said the company stated that they are just following other successful examples like Alibaba’s T-mall, which means “sky cat” in Chinese, and online shopping website JD.com, whose logo is a dog. “In any case, their names are not insulting,” he added.

Some netizens agree with the drivers’ demand to abandon the name, considering the decision improper, while others believe the act is just a publicity stunt by the company and not a big deal.

“Why not change the name to ‘Fast horse’?” a user commented on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, alluding to the Chinese saying, “Spur on the flying horse,” which has no negative meanings at all. 

Although the company has not forced their drivers in Zhengzhou to put up the new logo, it has taken a firm stance on its rebranding strategy. On Tuesday, in a statement on the company’s Weibo account, “fast dog” was used to stress the speed of delivery and the reliability of its logistics service.

Under the Tianjin-based local services platform 58 Home, 58 Suyun merged with Hong Kong-based delivery app GoGoVan last August, and now operates in over 300 cities, with more than 8 million registered users supported by 2,000 employees worldwide.

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