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China cracks down on foreign names, hotels affected

06/25/2019| 11:04:06 AM|

The name of Vienna Hotels, a Chinese chain, sounds “too foreign” to the ears of the government.

The Manhattan neighborhood, Venice Garden, the Vienna hotel chain — to the ears of the Chinese government, these names are too foreign-sounding and must go. Provinces and cities across China have been issuing notices pressuring both private and public officials to rename businesses, bridges, and neighborhoods.

The move came to light after Vienna Hotels, which according to its website operates 2,500 properties in China, fought back on social media this week, and other users jumped in to ridicule the move.

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs confirmed Friday that the campaign is underway, but said that some local governments are not implementing the new rule accurately. It maintained though that foreign names have an ugly social influence that needs to be cleaned up.

Vienna Hotels, in a post Tuesday on Weibo — a Twitter-like app and website in China — said it had complained to the Hainan Civil Affairs Department and is awaiting a response. Its brand is registered with the national trademark bureau from 2012 to 2022, the post said.

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