M -- Golden Arches?

  •  
  • 402
  • 11
  • 4
  • English 
Jan 7, 2018 00:21
A few months ago, the news that McDonald’s secretly changed its Chinese registration name to 金拱门 (Golden Arches) ignited a nation-wide discussion: what’s this burger chain up to? This fast-food company’s business has been bogged down in China since its expired meat scandal three years ago. Rumor has it that McDonald’s had tried to sell off its business in China, but the company has yet to confirm it. There must’ve been something behind this name change, and insiders at the Restaurant Administration suggested that McDonald’s China had indeed sold itself to a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

If that’s true, that means McDonald’s China has become an SOE! That’s hilarious! Though the name “Golden Arches” sounds a bit weird, it’s believed to be an auspicious Chinese moniker that can bring its bearer good fortune. As you can imagine, “golden” insinuates wealth, and “arches” evokes a pair of grandiose gates that may solicit business. Chinese youths have playfully given nicknames to some other foreign companies too: "Mermaid" for Starbucks, "Grandpa" for KFC, "Four Circles" for Audi, etc.

A week ago, a new Mcdonald’s opened at a huge mall near my workplace, which surprised me, because nowadays fast-food chains are considered "low-end" and therefore not allowed to operate at newly-built malls. McDonald’s is now expanding in an increasing number of malls where KFC has been rejected. There's a plausible explanation for this fast-paced expansion: the company has indeed become an SOE, which would enable itself to have more clout in running business in China.

By the way, I went to the McDonald’s near my workplace the first day it opened, and a server gave me two ice creams for free. Giving customers free gifts on the opening day is a common practice of China’s large-scale, deep-pocketed service companies. :-)

[Revised]
几月前,麦当劳悄悄地改了在中国的注册名,叫“金拱门”。此举引发了很多人的讨论:麦当劳到底要干嘛呢?三年前,麦当劳被爆出“过期肉”丑闻,自此在中国的生意每况愈下。有传言称,麦当劳打算卖掉中国区的业务,但是麦当劳官方并没有出来证实。这次既然要改名,肯定是事出有因,一些监管机构的知情者暗示,麦当劳已经把中国区业务卖给了中国的一家国企。

如果这是真的,也就意味着麦当劳变成了一家国企!这太搞笑了。虽然“金拱门”这个名字听起来有点奇怪,但在中文里确实是个招财的好名字。“金”代表金钱,”拱门“不仅让人联想到一些气派宏伟的大门,招财进宝。中国的年轻人给一些其他外国品牌起了别名:比如星巴克叫做“美人鱼”,肯德基叫做”白胡子老爷爷”,奥迪叫做“四个圈。”

一个星期以前,我单位旁边一家大型商场开了一家麦当劳,让我有点小惊讶,因为洋快餐现在被认为是低端餐饮,不允许进入新开的商场。现在麦当劳在大型商场开得越来越多,而KFC不让进,这么快速的扩张只有一个解释:麦当劳真的变成了一个家国企,国企在中国做生意路子广。

对了,单位旁那边麦当劳开业第一天我就去了,收银员还给了两个免费的冰激凌。开业大吉,给顾客免费的礼物是中国财大气粗的企业才会干的事情。哈哈。