Century-old bun producer adopts English name "go believe"

Updated: 2008-02-25 11:23

One of China's longest established food brands in northern Tianjin city has adopted an English name "Go Believe" which sounds like its famous but bizarre Chinese brand Goubuli, "Dog wouldn't care it".

Tianjin Goubuli Group Corporation, a 150-year-old stuffed bun producer, has started hanging on English boards on its branch restaurants.

"The English name sounds similar with the Chinese name, and it is positive and meaningful by highlighting the honesty of the company," Zhang Yansen, Chairman of the board with the Group.

"We hope it can be better understood and trusted by foreign guests," he added.

However, many netizens expressed their different opinions about the English name.

"The phrase 'Go believe' is grammatically wrong. And It's hard to connect the superficial name with the the century-old famous name."

"I think the name fails to communicate the real culture of the cuisine. Considering the similar pronunciation, 'Go bullish' is much better."

The Goubuli brand first appeared in 1858 and there are various explanations for "Goubuli." The most popular one has it that a poor village boy nicknamed "gouzhai (puppy)" went to Tianjin and apprenticed at a food shop at the age of 14. Years later he started his own business of steamed stuffed buns.

Each bun has 15 wrinkles and looks like a chrysanthemum. Soft and delicious, the bun soon attracted numerous customers.

Gouzhai became so busy at the shop and had no time to speak with customers, who complained "Gouzhai sells buns but does not speak to people". The saying was then shorten to goubuli, which means "gouzhai does not speak to people."

Goubuli buns and 395 other cuisines around the country were awarded the title "Famous Chinese Snack" by the China Cuisine Association in 1997. The group made a profit of 40 million yuan ($5.3 million) in 2006 and expected to increase it to 70 million yuan in 2007.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)

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