Jan 30 2009

China’s taboo New Year text messages

Published by at 7:15 pm under China internet



Due to the worldwide financial crisis, some very traditional Chinese New Year text messages have made an informal blacklist.

For example take the Chinese New Year phrase 财源滚滚, the first two characters refer to finances and the last two speak about an increase.  Wishing your friend an increase in financial fortunes.  However, another set of characters (裁员), with the exact same pronunciation in Chinese as finances, means to lay off employees. Wishing your friend many layoffs.  Bad juju.

Also, the traditional New Year’s phrase 招财进宝 clashes with 遭裁禁饱.  Again, the sounds are very similar in Chinese but the first phrase means to usher in wealth and prosperity while the latter to suffer a cut in pay.

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  1. [...] Still keeping an eye on Baidu‘s top searches and noticed among this week’s top results the key term “Lantern Festival Text Messages.”  We saw pretty much the same thing happen during the beginning of Chinese New Year. [...]