Bing Should Have Googled ‘Bing’ In Chinese

By January 9, 2012

There’s a reason why American companies can’t seem to grasp Asian markets. Why?


Startups and established companies need to understand that simply throwing a branch down in a random Asian country is probably going to result in an embarrassing and costly mistake.  The Asian markets vary too much in complexity and culture from the United States or Europe to fool hardily enter hoping for the best.

One of the biggest mistakes a foreign startup can make is neglecting to check the Chinese translation of their brand or slogan. Even some of the world’s most popular brands make the International mistake:


Pronunciation: Bing!

Translation: Disease and Malaria!


Pronunciation: Guge

Translation: Millet song (Old McDonald doesn’t inspire confidence)




Pronunciation: Fei-shi-boo-ku

Translation: You must die. (Unequivocally)


Pronunciation: Ke-ke-ken-la

Translation: Female horse stuffed with wax


What they meant: Pepsi Brings you Back to Life

What they actually said: Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave

Kentucky Fried Chicken

What they meant: Finger lickin’ good

What they actually said: Eat your fingers off