July 10, 2018 / 4:00 AM / a year ago

Chinese businesses to face new naming restrictions - state media

FILE PHOTO: A security guard walks on the bund in front of the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, China July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese enterprises will be banned from using words like “China”, “Chinese” or “State” in their names, the Communist Party-run People’s Daily newspaper said on Tuesday, citing draft proposals from market regulators.

China has become increasingly wary about the use of sensitive language and imagery for commercial or entertainment purposes. It has also taken action to ban the misuse of the national anthem as well as satirical representations of historical and even fictional heroes.

The new draft rules issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation said the use of certain words in company names was “detrimental to the interests of state and society” and needed to be banned.

The new rules would also ban non-state firms from describing themselves as “Central”, “Nationwide”, “State” or “International”.

The new restrictions would allow, for example, a company to name itself “Acme China Jewellery” but not “China Acme” unless it gains the explicit approval of the State Council, China’s cabinet.

Companies will also be banned from using words for foreign countries, regions, companies or organisations, or deploy any name designed to deceive or mislead the public, the People’s Daily said.

The paper did not say whether the name restrictions were linked to intellectual property issues that have been raised in trade disputes between the United States and China.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Eric Meijer

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