Some Chinese internet users aren't happy with Google's recently announced Chinese name, and they've started an online petition to express their displeasure.
"We love Google, but we don't love Guge," said the message at the top of the NoGuge.com website, referring to Google's Chinese name. By mid-morning on Monday more than 7,000 users had signed the petition – although this is a tiny fraction of China's 110 million internet users.
Guge, which incorporates the Chinese characters for 'valley' and 'song', is an allusion to traditional songs that celebrate a rich harvest. But many Chinese internet users find the name just doesn't sound right to them. "The name Guge makes us feel bad, it disappoints us," the site said. "Google, are you listening?"
Among a list of alternative names for Google posted on NoGuge.com, the most popular was Gougou, a slang term for Google that literally means 'dog dog'. Gougou received 2,774 votes out of 28,942 cast in an informal poll. The second most popular pick was Google, followed by Goule, which means 'enough'.
Google addressed the question of its Chinese name in a 21 April post on its official Chinese blog. The post, written by a Google China employee named Cui Jin, said Google wasn't defined by its Chinese name. Citing her father's inability to remember Google's name as an example of why Google needed a Chinese name, Cui said the name Guge finally allows him to tell people where his daughter works.
She also offered one explanation for why Google didn't choose Gougou as its Chinese name.
"Gougou may sound like a cute name, but Google's Chinese name must be a company name, product name, brand name, and a site name; Gougou is just not appropriate," Cui wrote.