The German internet network former known as openBC is going global with a new name: XING. An official explanation for the meaning of XING is not available. Of course I first thought it is Chinese. But it is also the American abbreviation for ‘Crossing’. Xing.com reaches out for two new markets: America and China. That is maybe why they have chosen a name that makes sense in both markets. But what is the meaning in Chinese? A friend visiting Beijing just reminded me that I still do not know.
I thought it might be ‘Star’. So I asked my Chinese teacher today and she said it means ‘okay’.
More curious I looked it up in my dictionary. Depending on the tone and Chinese character there are different meanings. I only picked the best:
1st tone XĪNG: to flourish, to start / star, particle / intelligent / raw meat, fishy smell
2nd tone XÍNG: penalty, torture / journey, to do, it is okay, behaviour / body, form
3rd tone XĬNG: to survey, to visit / to re-gain conscious, to wake-up / to sneeze
4th tone XÌNG: joy, interest / peach / luck / nature, gender
I am sure that XING.com should not mean fishy smell, torture or sneezing.
CONCLUSION: Communication in China is difficult. Chinese people have to guess what someone means by saying something.