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中国酒店的山寨命名让商务旅客难辨真假

Sound-Alike Hotels in China Borrow Western Brands’ Prestige
中国酒店的山寨命名让商务旅客难辨真假

Is the Peninsula Hotel in Yangcheng part of the five-star Peninsula Hotels group known for its Rolls-Royces? Can you accrue Marriott rewards points at the Marvelot Hotel, which includes the Chinese characters for Marriott in its name? Is the Haiyatt hotel in China a Hyatt brand hotel? No, no and no.

阳澄半岛酒店是否属于那家以劳斯莱斯车队闻名的五星级酒店集团——半岛酒店(Peninsula Hotels)?虽然皇朝万豪酒店(Marvelot)的中文名里有“万豪”(Marriott)二字,你能在那里获得“万豪礼赏”的积分吗?中国的海悦酒店(Haiyatt),是凯悦(Hyatt)旗下的酒店吗?这三个问题的答案都是否定的。

Like many Chinese businesses with names and products closely resembling well-known international brands, hotels that look and sound somewhat familiar to international travelers are popping up in China.

中国的许多企业有着与知名国际品牌极其相似的名字和产品,与之类似,一些拼写和读音让外国旅行者感到似曾相识的酒店品牌正在中国兴起。

As established chains expand deeper into China, they find that they are competing with reasonable facsimiles of themselves.

随着知名连锁酒店在中国进行更深入的扩张,它们发现,竞争对手都在模仿自己,而且模仿似乎是合理的。

The Haiyatt Suzhou is in Suzhou, a large cultural and industrial city in Eastern China. The hotel offers deluxe rooms, suites, conference rooms, European cuisine and a “Haiyatt Grand Nightclub” — just about everything a business traveler would expect in a Hyatt Hotel, in a city where travelers might expect to find a Hyatt. In fact, the Haiyatt Suzhou will be joined this spring by the Hyatt Regency Suzhou.

吴江海悦花园大酒店位于中国东部的文化与工业大都市苏州。酒店提供豪华客房、套房、会议室、欧洲美食和“金殿夜总会”——几乎囊括了商务旅行者对凯悦酒店的所有期待。在这座城市,游客或许也会期待找到一家凯悦。实际上,吴江海悦花园大酒店今年春天就将面临苏州凯悦酒店(Hyatt Regency Suzhou)的竞争。

Western brands are often seen as higher in quality than their Chinese counterparts, said Kunal Sinha, chief knowledge officer for Ogilvy China, so giving a product, whether it is a shampoo or a hotel, a name similar to a Western brand is valuable.

奥美中国(Ogilvy China)的首席知识长辛默(Kunal Sinha)称,人们常常认为西方品牌的产品质量高于中国品牌,所以,给产品取个与西方品牌相似的名字,无论是洗发水还是酒店,都是有好处的。

“The hotel business is expanding rapidly in China,” Mr. Sinha said. “Owners of new hotels will use western-sounding names to connote better service and quality.”

辛默说,“酒店业正在中国迅速扩张。老板们会为新酒店取一些听起来很西化的名字,从而传递这样的信息:这里的服务和品质更佳。”

The name may even be mistaken for the original.

这种山寨的店名甚至还可能被人误当成正版。

Last year, a travel agent told Mr. Sinha he was booked at the Shengyan Marriott for a business trip. When he arrived, Mr. Sinha was surprised to find he was not checking into a Marriott hotel, but at the Marvelot. “Local people assume it is a Western hotel because it is a big and impressive property,” he said.

去年,一名旅行中介对辛默说,他为辛默的商务旅行预定了沈阳的万豪酒店。辛哈到了酒店后才惊讶地发现,他入住的不是真正的万豪酒店,而是皇朝万豪酒店。他说,“当地人都以为这是一家西方酒店,因为它的建筑恢宏而壮观。”

Brand names that sound and look similar to established successful brands are viewed more benignly in China. “Throughout Chinese history, skillful reproduction by artists poets and crafts workers has been highly regarded,” said Professor William P. Alford, the director of the East Asian Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School. The emphasis placed on originality is a Western ideal, he said.

在中国,对于听起来和看起来与知名成功品牌类似的名称,人们的态度较为宽容。哈佛大学法学院(Harvard Law School)东亚法律研究项目主任安守廉(William P. Alford)教授说,“纵观中国历史,艺术家、诗人和手工艺者的技艺高超的模仿之作一直能获得极高的评价。”他还表示,强调原创是西方的理念。

纽约时报中英文网 www.qqenglish.com

“Copying successful brands is a backdoor scheme to make money, and lots of unscrupulous people are doing what they know is wrong, but one of the reasons they can have some success doing it is that there is cultural ambivalence,” said Professor Alford.

安守廉教授说,“抄袭成功的品牌是一种唯利是图的不光彩伎俩,许多肆无忌惮的人明知故犯,但他们能获得一些成功的一个原因,就是在于文化上对这种做法态度暧昧。”

Foreign companies, and more recently some Chinese entities, too, have pressed for better enforcement, but it has been slow in coming, Professor Alford said.

安守廉教授称,外国公司一直要求加大执法力度,最近一些中国企业也表达了同样的诉求,但一直进展缓慢。

Peninsula is a popular name for hotels in China, even when they are inland. These include the Yangcheng Peninsula Hotel, Guobin Peninsula Hotel and Peninsula Hotel Chengdu Zongfu, none of which are affiliated with the high-end global chain known for its liveried chauffeurs. The chain’s only official hotels in China are in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Even in Shanghai, the Hengsheng Peninsula International Hotel, which is not part of the chain, is just a 10-minute walk from the Peninsula Shanghai.

“半岛”这个名字受到了中国酒店的极大青睐,即使它们地处内陆,比如阳澄半岛酒店、国宾半岛酒店,以及成都总府半岛酒店。它们都与以穿制服的轿车司机闻名的同名高端全球连锁酒店无关。半岛仅在北京、香港和上海拥有正式的中国门店。即使在上海,与这个品牌毫无关系的恒升半岛国际酒店距真正的上海半岛酒店步行只有10分钟之遥。

Li Quan, a pharmaceutical sales representative traveling on business this week in Shanghai, said he knew the Hengsheng Peninsula International Hotel was not part of the international Peninsula chain, but believed it would be an “upscale hotel because of the obvious name resemblance.”

本周正在上海出差的医药销售代表李泉(音译)说,他知道恒升半岛国际酒店并不是半岛旗下的,但由于酒店的名字和半岛“有明显的相似之处”,他以为这会是一家“高档酒店”。

He was disappointed to find “so-so facilities and worse-than-average service,” and said that some domestic hotels tried “to boost their value and brand awareness by sharing names with other reputable hotel chains so they can achieve a make-believe attachment to those hotels.”

结果,他发现酒店“设施一般,服务还达不到平均水平”,感到非常失望。他表示一些国内酒店试图“通过使用其他知名连锁酒店的名字,假装与这些酒店有关联,以此虚抬身价和品牌知名度”。

None of the similarly named Peninsula hotels in China are five-star hotels, so experienced travelers who see photos of the property, compare nightly rates, look at online reviews or stay there once would most likely know the difference. Similarly, the Savoy Hotel in Lanzhou, a business hotel with 788 rooms, bears little resemblance to the iconic Savoy Hotel in London built in the 1800s.

纽约时报中英文网 www.qqenglish.com

中国那些同样以半岛命名的酒店都不是五星级饭店,因此,那些看到酒店照片、对比房费、浏览网上评价,或者在那儿住过一次的经验丰富的游客就很可能不会混淆。同样,拥有788个房间的商务酒店兰州四方酒店与兴建于19世纪的伦敦标志性酒店萨沃伊(Savoy Hotel)之间并没有什么相似之处,尽管二者的英文名雷同。

The established brands are keenly aware of the others.

知名品牌敏锐地意识到山寨酒店的存在。

“We do take steps to protect our brand, " said Sian Griffiths, director of communications for the Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel. “However, we also feel that our target customers are sufficiently discerning not to confuse the Peninsula-branded hotels with the copycats.”

“我们确实采取了措施来保护我们的品牌,”香港半岛酒店传讯总监施晓芙(Sian Griffiths)说。“不过,我们也觉得,我们的目标客户具有足够的辨别力,不会混淆半岛和仿效者。”

Farley Kern, vice president for corporate communications for Hyatt, said the company took “this matter very seriously,” and was working within China’s legal channels to address hotel operators that use names that might cause confusion. Still, foreign companies can be reluctant to push too hard because they do not want to antagonize the government and lose access to the Chinese market.

凯悦酒店负责公司传讯事宜的副总裁法利·克恩(Farley Kern)表示,公司对“这个问题非常重视”,正在通过中国的法律途径应对酒店经营者使用可能引起混淆的名字的问题。但外国企业不愿施加太多压力,因为它们不想激怒政府,失去进入中国市场的资格。

In the case of the Marvelot, the hotel used to operate under a Marriott franchise agreement, and chose to keep the Chinese characters for “Marriott” when the relationship ended in 2006. Marriott pursued legal action to protect its name and had some success. The hotel is not permitted to use Marriott as a stand-alone word in Chinese, but may use it as part of a name, said Thomas Marder, vice president for global corporate relations at Marriott International. Marriott has 66 hotels in China and plans more.

皇朝万豪酒店曾与万豪达成特许经营协议,2006年协议终结时选择在自己的中文名中保留了“万豪”二字。万豪酒店采取了法律行动保护自己的品牌,并在一定程度上取得了成功。万豪国际集团负责全球公关事务的副总裁托马斯·马德(Thomas Marder)表示,该酒店被禁止单独使用“万豪”二字,但可以将其作为名字的一部分。万豪目前在中国拥有66家酒店,计划开设更多。

Haiyatt versus Hyatt may confuse Westerners more than Chinese speakers. “English speakers may confuse Haiyatt and Hyatt because they sound alike, but the hotel names look and sound different when they are spelled in Chinese characters,” said Wenjun Chen, a real estate broker who lives in Seattle and travels to China.

与懂中文的人相比,西方人更容易混淆海悦和凯悦。居住在西雅图的房地产经纪人陈文君(音译)会来中国差旅,他表示,“讲英语的人可能会混淆Haiyatt和Hyatt,因为二者发音很像,但在汉语当中,这两个名字的写法和发音都不相同。”

Some guests, though, are confused by the sound-alike names, judging from comments on the travel website TripAdvisor. A few Chinese and English reviews have compared a hotel’s standards to those of a brand of which it is not part. A recent guest posted on TripAdvisor about being surprised to discover upon checking in that a hotel was not a Marriott and being upgraded to the executive floor as compensation.

虽说如此,从旅游网站TripAdvisor上的评论可以看出,发音相似的名字让一些客人感到困惑。只有几个中英文评论将山寨酒店与它们不属于的品牌酒店的标准作了对比。一名客人最近在TripAdvisor上发帖称,自己在登记入住时,惊讶地发现这家酒店不是万豪,并被升级到行政楼层,以此作为补偿。

Ayumu Watanabe, a Japanese business traveler staying at the Shanghai Haiyatt Hotel this week, said he was not bothered that it was not affiliated with the Hyatt brand, but that the name was “really misleading and confusing.”

本周住在上海海悦酒店的日本商务旅行者渡边鲇梦(Ayumu Watanabe,音译)表示,他并没有因为这家酒店不隶属于凯悦品牌而感到不安,但这个名字“的确具有误导性和迷惑性”。

As China develops more of its own valuable intellectual property, including its own hotel and other consumer brands, and looks toward establishing them worldwide, its government will have more of an incentive to provide fuller legal protection for trademarks, Professor Alford said. “That may be the time we see the copycats start to go away,” he said.

安守廉教授表示,随着中国开发更多有价值的知识产权,比如自己的酒店和其他消费品牌,并且期待在世界范围内树立这些品牌,中国政府将有更多的动力来对商标进行更加全面的法律保护。他说,“到那时候,我们可能就会看到假冒产品开始消失了。”

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