Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Agencies to probe cafe over name [Straits Times] #China #Singapore #Diaoyu #EastChinaSea


Wandering China covered this news story a little over a month ago – see Sophia Rd cafe cashes in on island dispute [AsiaOne]. Now it seems, three agencies in Singapore – the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) and the Police are going to probe the cafe over its name.

Does this marketing gimmick have enough clout to affect international relations? It looks like Singapore is about to self-regulate in an act of top-down self censorship. One wonders if it is acting on a public complaint, at all.

Why further accentuating divide where convergence could be celebrated I wonder. I had the chance to visit the cafe just a few days ago and people of all races and creed could be seen sauntering in, both out of curiousity and others, to grab an affordable meal.

Some background into the probe –

‘Advertisements should not adopt or encourage a confrontational approach to resolving societal conflicts or differences. Advertisements should not exploit or fuel conflicts relating to national problems and controversial policies or issues.’

– – –

Agencies to probe cafe over name
Diao Yu Dao moniker draws attention of police, Acra and ad authority
By Melissa Lin
Source – Straits Times, Published Dec 25, 2012

20121225-064544.jpg
The Sophia Road cafe has a signboard bearing the words Diao Yu Dao, China’s name for the group of islands in the East China Sea whose ownership is disputed by Tokyo and Beijing. — ST PHOTO: NURIA LING

BARELY two months after opening for business, a cafe at Peace Centre – called Diao Yu Dao – has come to the attention of at least three agencies for its name linked to islands whose ownership is disputed by Japan and China.

The agencies are the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) and the police.

Diaoyu is China’s name for the group of islands in the East China Sea. Japan, which controls them, calls them the Senkaku islands.

Please click here to read rest of the article at the source (subscription required)

The Sophia Road cafe, with an adjoining bakery, opened in October and sells Hong Kong fare like bolo bun and roasted meat. On the shop’s signboard are the words Diao Yu Dao, accompanied by a picture of the islands.

Dao is the Chinese word for islands.

The eatery’s walls are adorned with over 30 framed graphics, maps and photographs related to the islands, as well as information about the islands’ history and the dispute over their ownership.

The cafe owners are believed to be a couple, both Chinese Singaporeans. They could not be reached for comment.

Dr Tan Sze Wee, chairman of Asas, which regulates signboards and advertisements, said it will be investigating the cafe for possible infringement of the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice.

A clause in the code states: “Advertisements should not adopt or encourage a confrontational approach to resolving societal conflicts or differences. Advertisements should not exploit or fuel conflicts relating to national problems and controversial policies or issues.”

A report in My Paper last month quoted the cafe’s manager as saying that his boss “had no political motivations behind the outlet’s concept and theme”.

The police said a report had been lodged and they are “looking into the matter”. It is understood the issue is related to the cafe’s name.

An Acra spokesman said the cafe was registered under the name Onion Restaurant and Bar Pte Ltd.

Acra has conducted checks on the company for issuing invoices under the name Diao Yu Dao and not complying with a Companies’ Act provision to use invoices with its registered name and registration number.

The company has since made changes to its invoices, Acra added.

While the cafe may have used the name Diao Yu to stand out from others, its quality of food is what customers are more focused on.

Madam Sarah Sim, 34, said she did not even notice the cafe’s decorations.

“I just needed to buy food for my kids,” added the secretary.

Passer-by Selvaraju Robert, 56, who said he was aware of the territorial dispute, found the cafe’s theme “interesting”. But the storekeeper added: “I’m more interested in the food.”

mellinjm@sph.com.sg

BACKGROUND STORY

Advertisements should not adopt or encourage a confrontational approach to resolving societal conflicts or differences. Advertisements should not exploit or fuel conflicts relating to national problems and controversial policies or issues.

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Filed under: Advertising, ASEAN, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, East China Sea, Government & Policy, Greater China, History, Influence, International Relations, japan, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

One Response

  1. Godfree Roberts says:

    Most of your newsletter links still do not work on ipads.

    Did you see this: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/china/AJ201212240012 Godfree Roberts Chiang Mai Thailand

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