If you’ve been closely following Chinese internet industry, you might notice a very interesting phenomenon:

Many companies use animals or plants in their logos, or as their product or company names.

Many argue that everything started with Tencent using a cute penguin as the logo for QQ, its famous instant messaging service in the desktop era:

Everyone in China knows this penguin

What do we have now?

Let’s look at the travel category – these are some of the top OTAs and travel platforms. Do you see the animal connection:

You can easily recognize these animals

Here are some of the top players in the live streaming category:

Another set of animals

After Alibaba renamed Taobao mall to Tmall (天猫, or literally Heavenly Cat, in Chinese) and used cat as their trademark, other e-commerce players followed suit.

JD.com is now represented by a metallic dog, Suning.com a squarish lion, and Gome a kingly tiger.

The four primary e-commerce players  in China

Plants are omnipresent as well:

we can see lily, tomato, peasecod, pear, mushroom, grapefruit, pepper, nut, litchi, watermelon, even melon seeds.

Why do you think is behind all these? Well, these names are instantly recognizable, easy to remember, and easy to spread to your friends.

Even those who do not use animal or plant names, they might still use such logos:

Guess what this is?

Now, since there are limited number of ‘good’ animals, and you can’t name your product after rats, locusts or weed, what happens if you run out of good (or at least neutral) animal or plant names?

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