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Chinese consumers get tired of Under Armour knockoff

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A famous sportswear brand worn by the likes of the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, the model Gisele Bündchen, has a savvy new competitor in one of its hottest markets, China.

新英格兰爱国者队四分卫汤姆•布拉迪和他的模特妻子吉赛尔•邦臣等人喜欢穿安德玛(Under Armour)这个知名运动品牌,而在中国这个最火热的市场之一,它如今遇上了一个精明的新对手。

Under Armour, say hello to … Uncle Martian.

安德玛(Under Armour)……跟"安可玛汀(Uncle Martian)"打个招呼吧。

The logos are almost identical: A stylized letter U with an inverted U directly beneath it. But unlike in Under Armour's famous brand, the letters do not intersect. An A never gets formed. That leaves a U and what might pass for a humble lowercase n.

二者的品牌标识几乎一模一样,都是一个经过独特设计的字母U下方逆向立着一个同样的字母U。不过,与安德玛广为人知的品牌标识不同的是,安可玛汀商标的两个U没有交叉,于是并未形成A,只能说是一个U下面连着一个或许像是小写字母的n。

Still, the obvious resemblance has caused a sensation online in China, where the brand's flashy rollout this week has been met with skepticism by increasingly savvy consumers, who appear to be tired of their country's being associated with cheap copycat products.

但这种明显的相似性在中国的网络上引发了强烈反应。该品牌近日在中国举行了场面宏大的首次发布活动,却遭到日益成熟的中国消费者的质疑。后者似乎厌倦了自己的国家总与廉价仿冒产品联系在一起。

China is where, only a few years ago, some enterprising people in one provincial city set up a fake Apple store, complete with the iconic logo. It is the home of the fast-food chain Yonghe King, whose logo once bore astriking resemblance to a certain colonel who hailed from the state of Kentucky.

就在几年前,在中国,一些胆大的人在一座省会城市开设了打着苹果公司标志性商标的假冒苹果商店。这里也是快餐连锁品牌永和大王的诞生地,而该品牌的商标一度与来自美国肯塔基州的某位上校极为相似。

The state news media identified the company behind Uncle Martian as an apparel manufacturer in Fujian Province, in southeastern China, called Tingfei Long Sporting Goods.

官方媒体确认,安可玛汀背后的企业是中国东南部福建省的一家名为廷飞龙的体育用品公司。

Uncle Martian's first foray into the athletic wear market is shoes.

安可玛汀首次进军运动服饰市场推出的是鞋类产品。

One of its executives, Huang Canlong, said at a recent ceremony that the brand was going to be associated with "comfort, excellence and innovation," according to a report published Thursday on the website shoes.net.cn. Mr. Huang said his aim was to create a "high-profile" brand with "high standards."

4月28日发表在环球鞋网上的一篇报道显示,在最近这场发布会上,公司高管黄灿龙称该品牌将与"舒适、卓越和创新"等概念联系起来。他还表示,自己的目标是打造一个"高姿态、高标准"的品牌。

Chinese consumers do not appear to be buying it. As incomes have risen, consumer tastes have changed. People want — and many can afford — the real thing. Under Armour, based in Baltimore, has been on a roll in China, with sales nearly tripling in the first three months of this year compared with a year earlier, according to Bloomberg News.

中国消费者似乎不会买账。随着收入增加,中国消费者的品位在逐渐改变。人们想买真品,而且有不少人负担得起。安德玛总部位于美国巴尔的摩,在中国的发展一直顺风顺水。彭博社数据显示,相比于去年同期,该公司今年一季度在中国的销售额上涨了近两倍。

The online criticism has been biting.

网上的批评非常尖锐。

One person who uses the handle "Diving Watcher" on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, was particularly scathing: "How come you can't even design a logo, all you do is plagiarize, don't you feel it's disgusting?"

名为"潜水的围观者"的微博用户措辞尤其严厉:"自己连个logo都不会设计么,一味地只顾抄袭,不觉得恶心么?"

Another Weibo user, Zhang Gemeng, pointed out that such blatant copying went against the national policy of trying to encourage homegrown creativity.

另一个名为"张格萌"的微博用户指出,这种公然的抄袭行为有违中国鼓励自主创新的国策。

"The Chinese have lost face, and don't blame people when they say they look down upon domestic brands," a user with the handle Luren MJC wrote.

"这么丢中国人的脸,就不要怪别人看不起国产品牌,"名为Luren MJC的用户写道。

Under Armour is also not amused.

安德玛也对这种行为感到恼火.

"Uncle Martian's uses of Under Armour's famous logo, name, and other intellectual property are a serious concern and blatant infringement," Diane Pelkey, a spokeswoman for Under Armour, said in an emailed statement. "Under Armour will vigorously pursue all business and legal courses of action.

"安可玛汀利用安德玛知名商标、名称和其他知识产权的行为是公然的侵权,引发了我们的严重关切,"安德玛公司的发言人黛安•佩尔基在一封邮件声明中表示,"安德玛将积极采取各种商业和法律措施。"

What did appear a bit creative, at least, was the name Uncle Martian. Some speculated it might be trying to appeal to the popularity in China of the movie "The Martian," starring Matt Damon. But that's only the name in English. In Chinese, it is a mere transliteration of "Uncle Martian" — An Ke Ma Ting. The characters mean, roughly, "Encore Ma Sandbar." That does not appear to be a name conceived on Madison Avenue.

至少,能显示出一些创造力的是安可玛汀这个名字。有人猜测它可能取自马特•达蒙主演的影片《火星救援》,希望借上该片在中国大受欢迎的东风。不过,这是仅从英文含义推测的。安可玛汀是Uncle Martian的音译,而这几个中文字可以勉强理解为"再来一次,玛汀"。这可不太像一个诞生于广告圣地麦迪逊大道的品牌名。

Westerners' comments: 

ETNIKS Houston  

It's hopeful to see customers themselves (the market) to be driving for the change to being proud of designing and producing Chinese own products.

消费者自己有意去推动状况的改变,他们为自主设计和自创品牌感到骄傲,这是有希望的。

Paul Virginia  

Uncle Martian rhymes with Under Armour.

Uncle Martian和Under Armour的确有押韵。

Andrew U.S.A.  

It seems Chinese citizens are starting to realize that China is nothing but a poor knockoff of the States. What's next, they have a revolution and create a free market?

中国人貌似开始意识到中国什么都不会,只是一个充斥着美国山寨货的国家。接下来会怎样呢?他们要改革,并建立自由市场?

Tim Lum Back from the 10th Century  

When I choose a Chinese Restaurant, I want the Chef to be Chinese, the ingredients to be Chinese and the noodles to be Chinese and I Dont't want the menu to say, Authentic Chinese dishes served with choice of French Fries or Baked Potato. If manufacturing hasn't awakened to the fact that Not even the Chinese want China Made goods, Shame on us.

我去中餐馆的时候,我希望厨师是中国人,食材是中国的,面条来自中国。我不希望菜单自己会说:这些都是地道中国菜,却配上法师炸薯条或烤马铃薯。如果制造业还未意识到这样的事实——连中国人自己都不要中国货,真是羞辱我们。

Matt Seattle, WA  

People forget, China is a country where private property of any kind didn't exist for many years. So to expect the Chinese populace to suddenly abide by Western concepts of intellectual property, something which for the most part has never existed in China, is a bit naive.

大家忘了,中国多年来没有私有制。你想要中国普通民众突然遵循西方知识产权的概念——中国大部分地方都不重视甚至不存在知识产权,未免有点天真。

The article is partially translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source (info.chinlingo.com) for any use, reproduction or transfer. 

本文由Chinlingo编译后发布,如需转载,请标明来源:info.chinlingo.com.

2016-06-22

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