chinese brand names

15 Chinese Brand Names That Smart Shoppers Must Know

Many international brands have a strong presence in China and have awesome-sounding Chinese names.

For example, do you know how to write “Nike” in Chinese?

It’s 耐(nài kè), and it means endurance.

You might recognize the first character, as it comes from (nài xìng), meaning endurance or patience.

Being well-versed in the Chinese names of big brands is a sure way to increase your coolness factor among Chinese friends.

For the fashionable Chinese learner, knowing the Chinese names of major labels shows that you are both language and business savvy.

Combine this knowledge with some handy Chinese phrases for shopping and you’re good to go.

Plus, looking at the Chinese names of famous brands is just one more creative and fun way to learn Chinese!

Now let’s explore every corner of the consumer world—in Chinese!
 


 

15 Chinese Brand Names That Smart Shoppers Must Know

1.  ( Wēidēng) — Louis Vuitton

chinese brand names

The ubiquitous pattern of an LV bag makes it easily recognizable among other brands. But, surprisingly, this highly-popular label for bags of all shapes and sizes is now becoming too common to be luxury.

Looks like the Chinese rich will be aiming even higher when it comes to luxury handbags.

 is a very close phonetic imitation to Louis Vuitton. 威 means power, as in  (wēi)refers to ascending to great heights, as in  (dēngshàng), which means climbing a mountain.

2. 古琦 (Gǔqí) — Gucci 

chinese brand names

This is another ultra-famous fashion brand that is struggling to maintain its claim to luxury in the face of an ever-growing population of wealthy Chinese.

Gucci’s Chinese name is also a phonetic imitation, although 古 means ancient. Think:  (dài), ancient, or  (diǎn), classical.

琦 can be a kind of valuable stone, such a jade. So Gucci in Chinese alludes to ancient fine jade.

3.  (Ā— Adidas

chinese brand names

Adidas has adopted a straight phonetic imitation in its Chinese name. Although the Chinese name for Adidas does not have a particularly strong Chinese meaning, the company has done well to connect with Asian culture. Its high-profile celebrity brand ambassadors include athletes such as Jeremy Lin.

4.  (Jīnggōng) — Seiko

chinese brand names

Another company that has great Chinese celebrity endorsements is Seiko. Seiko watches are worn by singer and actor Wang Leehom and actor Daniel Wu.

“Seiko” is how the characters 精工 are pronounced in Japanese. In Chinese, the name is one that makes you think of refined craftsmanship.

精 comes from  (jīnghuá), meaning essence. It is also used in  (jīngshén), meaning attitude or spirit.

refers to work or craftsmanship. For example: 厂 (gōngchǎng) means factory and (gōngyì) means arts and handmade crafts. 

Together, connotes a sense of being handmade or meticulously made, with fine attention to detail. 

5. 可 (kǒu) — Coca-Cola

chinese brand names

When you desire happiness and a delicious drink, you want to have Coca-Cola. At least, that’s what the company wants you to think.

Coca-Cola has an awesome Chinese name that suggests both joy (乐) and great taste (口).

Indeed, Coca-Cola has been joyfully working the Chinese market for over 35 years. In fact, Coca-Cola was one of the first companies to re-enter China after the Cultural Revolution.

As is the case for most big companies, Coca-Cola has found an excellent place to work in China. China is soon to be Coca-Cola’s largest market worldwide.

Looks like there’s a lot of Chinese sipping this brown fizzy drink.

6.  (Màidāngláo) — McDonald’s

mcdonalds-china031609

Who doesn’t love McDonald’s? Chinese tastes have been changing ever since the arrival of Western fast food chains.

McDonald’s phonetically similar Chinese name doesn’t have a particularly meaningful translation, unless you want to point out that 麦 is wheat, and hamburger buns are made from wheat. One could note that 劳 means hard-working, and the staff at McDonald’s do work hard for their minimum wage.

7. 喜 () — Heineken

chinese brand names

When it comes to alcoholic drinks, here is a beer that boasts happiness and power.

Heineken, sometimes also called  (Hǎigēn), has chosen words of strength and happiness to represent its beers in China. 喜 comes from (huānxǐ), or happiness. 力 is strength, as in  (lì), to work hard or put in great effort, and (nénglì), meaning strength or power. 

Great name choice, as it makes one think of robust partying. Cheers!

8.  (Bǎo) — BMW

chinese brand names

Your car is a precious vehicle to carry you around, much like…a horse.

That is the word BMW chose for its Chinese name, as its name means “precious horse.”

宝 is from  (bǎobèi), for precious darling, and  (bǎoguì), for very valuable.

And because babies are very precious, in Chinese they are called  (bǎobǎo).

This is not to be confused with  (bāobāo), which is your handbag, or  (bàobào), which is a hug.

You need to be clear whether it is your baby or your handbag that is stolen! Or, if you just want a hug? Oh! the tones…

9. 保 (Bǎoshíjié) — Porsche

chinese brand names

Would you want to travel around China on a “precious horse” (BMW), or would you rather drive a Porsche?

Porsche’s Chinese name is mainly a phonetic match, but the name also connotes speed and timeliness.

捷 means quick, and it is also used in the names of Jaguar, which is  (Jbào) and Volkswagen’s Jetta, which is  (J).

10. 大众汽车 (Dàzhòng qìchē) — Volkswagen

chinese brand names

And now it’s time for “everybody’s car” or 大众汽车, also known as Volkswagen. This Chinese translation is a fairly accurate representation of the original German name, which means “the people’s car.” Nicely done.

11. 宜家 (Yíjiā) — IKEA

chinese brand names

IKEA has a Chinese name that makes one think of a practical, comfortable home. How perfect is that?

宜 comes from 便(biàn), convenient. Also, 便(piányi), cheap. And (shì), suitable.

家 of course means home. So when you come to IKEA, or 宜家, you can expect to furnish your home suitably, cheaply and conveniently.

And the cafeteria has cheap coffee and muffins.

12. 强 (Qiángshēng) — Johnson & Johnson

chinese brand names

A producer of bath and hygiene products likely wants to promote healthy living. This is exactly what Johnson & Johnson has chosen to do through its Chinese name, which hints at strong life. Think: (gāngqiáng), unyielding, and  (qiáng), powerful.

生, on the other hand, connotes all good meanings relating to life and longevity.

It is a character that shows up everywhere. For example: Have a happy life— (shēnghuó)—because life— (shēngmìng)—is precious. Try not to get angry—气 (shēng)—on your birthday—(shēng).

13. 惠普 (Huì ) — Hewlett-Packard

chinese brand names

This international supplier of personal computers, printers and other technology has a Chinese name that means “beneficial” and “popular.”

You may recognize 惠 from  (yōuhuì), meaning preferential favor or special deal. It is also commonly seen in  (huìmeaning special discount, and  (shíhuì)—better bang for your buck.

普 comes from  (biàn), meaning common, general and universal. It is also used in  (tōng), meaning common and ordinary.

Of course, you may remember that Mandarin Chinese is called  (tōnghuà), everybody’s language!

14. 博世 (Bóshì) — Bosch

chinese brand names

This German manufacturer of electronic parts has chosen a Chinese name that means conquering the world. Not a bad name for a multinational company known to be one of the leading suppliers of car parts.

博 means extensive, as in 广 (guǎng), and  (), meaning huge.

博 is also used in  (guǎn), museum, and  (shì), a doctorate degree or PhD. What a smart name!

15. 通用电气 (Tōngyòng diànqì) — General Electric

chinese brand names

If you want to be known as a universally useful electric company, why not try the name 通用电气?

通用 means usable everywhere, and 电气 is electronics.

You may recognize 通 from  (tōnghuà), communicate by telephone. It is also found in  (tōngguò), through or via, and  (tōngzhī), to notify. These are all good phrases referring to communicating and connecting.

 

And now you know many Chinese names for international brands!

It is pretty interesting how companies have connected the right sounds to the right meaning.

What would your company’s Chinese brand name be?
 


 

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