Different ways of saying Apple Store in Chinese

The post “Are you listening, Steve Jobs?” by BirdAbroad has caused quite a stir. She has pictures and descriptions of two questionable Apple stores in 昆明 (Kunming). I was curious of the two different set of words corresponding to “Apple Store” in the pictures. The first store has the words 苹果零售店, which translates to Apple retail store. The second store has the words 苹果商店, which translates to Apple store. It also has a dash of English misspelling.

I decided to take a look at the Apple websites of the U.S., China, and Taiwan to see how Apple officially uses these words. I took screenshots of the retail information at the bottom of each webpage.

The U.S. Apple website:

The Apple China website:

The Apple Taiwan website:

I noticed that Apple never uses the words 蘋果 or 苹果 on its Chinese language websites. The words “Apple Store 在线商店” are used on the Apple China website, which Apple Store online store. “Apple Store 零售店” is used to refer to Apple retail stores. The Apple Taiwan website uses the words “Apple Online Store.” There are currently no Apple stores in Taiwan. 經銷商 means reseller. It seems that English names are used all throughout the Chinese language websites for copyrighted terms such as “Apple Store” and “Apple Online Store.”


One thought on “Different ways of saying Apple Store in Chinese

  1. It’s not just copyrighted terms but a patented tradename. This is an area I know something about. The words “Apple,” “Mac,” etc are used in line with the corporate strategic branding set by Apple Inc./Apple Computer Inc. It’s similar in vein to what Rolex S.A. did: Rolex had never been known to use Chinese for its Rolex brand until sometime in the 1950s with 勞力士, and only specifically for Hong Kong.

    Apple keeps to the English because it doesn’t want to dilute its branding with various permutations of its brand in various languages – Apfel (German), pomme (French) – can we imagine that happening? And Apple has been extremely prescient about this – imagine having to translate the names iPod, iPad, i-whatever into other languages.

    Other companies, of course, like Microsoft (微軟), take a different tact – each to their own.

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