Warren Buffett visited this week China’s electric car maker BYD in Shenzhen, where he invested 230 million US dollar to buy ten percent of the company. BYD stands for “Build Your Dream”, recalls Helen Wang on her weblog, one of many dreams in China.
It does not take much research to discover that BYD are the initials of the Chinese charactersBi Ya Di, which does not mean anything but sounds foreign or Western. Many Chinese companies use Western-sounding names to make their companies or product brands sound modern, or to imply their businesses have Western connections.
Despite some nationalistic tendencies among Chinese youths, most of China’s upwardly mobile middle class consumers favor Western brands because of their quality and reputation. A recent article in Harvard Business Review reveals that only 45 percent of Chinese consumers prefer local brands, down from 57 percent three years before.