Duty free dream?

Duty free dream?

Imagine if Glasgow Airport was renamed Johnny Walker International. Well, something akin to this was announced by the Yibin municipal government recently with news that the airport being built locally will be named Yibin Wuliangye Airport. Wuliangye, of course, is one of China’s most famous alcohol brands (see WiC7), a high proof Chinese wine (or baijiu). It’s ranked as the second best in the country after Kweichow Moutai and is pretty much a luxury, with a bottle costing around Rmb1,000. It is also one of Sichuan’s most famous brands, which is perhaps why Yibin – a city in the province – felt the naming was such a good idea. “Yibin Wuliangye Airport will be the first airport in the country to be named after a company,” Chen Bo, deputy director of the airport relocation project office, told the local Huaxi Metropolis Daily.

The airport should be ready by 2015, but its name is already provoking criticism online. There was some mirth too. One suggestion posted on the internet was that Qingdao might consider renaming its own facility Tsingtao Brewery Airport, after the famous brewer founded by German sailors in the city.

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