How do you say "polo", "logo", and "erase with Photoshop" in Chinese?

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"Hebei official’s shirt logo removed for ‘aesthetic reasons,’ triggering speculation among netizens"

By Global Times (Sep 05, 2023)

Official photos of a city Party chief in North China's Hebei Province, with his shirt's logo removed by editing, have sparked a wide-ranging discussion among Chinese netizens, with some speculating that it was a move to obscure the price of the clothing. 

In an article posted via Nangong city's official WeChat account on Sunday, the official's daily work was released, with one picture of his shirt logo in, followed by another two pictures without shirt logo. Some netizens questioned the reasons why they removed the shirt logo, and some checked the similar coat prices online discovering the high retail price for the item, according to media reports.

In response to the controversy triggered by the incident, the local authorities said that the logo was removed due to the "aesthetic reasons," according to Hubei-based Jimu News. Meanwhile, the polo shirt was bought about two or three years ago with a retail price of around 500 yuan ($68.47) to 600 yuan, the report noted.

The operator of the account didn't remove the shirt logo in the first picture as the logo is not prominent enough, however, the logo in the other two pictures "caused visual conflict." The operator was said to lack experience, with the photos not properly vetted, causing the misunderstanding of netizens, according to the report.

The topic related to this incident has gained more than 83 million views as of Tuesday afternoon, with many netizens saying the relevant employee was actually "drawing a snake and adding feet."  [VHM:  a Chinese set phrase (chéngyǔ 成語):  "huàshétiānzú 畫蛇添足" ("gilding the lily; overdoing", i.e., unnecessarily calling attention to a relatively minor faux pas that probably would not have caused such a tumultuous ruckus had the logo not been photoshopped out.]

"It could be a normal situation to wear a polo shirt. However, once they used photoshop to edit the pictures, which drew public attention," one netizen wrote.  [defective sentence]

Why are netizens cautious over the shirt's logo? Because as an official, their clothing and wearing style represents their working style and attitude to life, another commented.

There are many articles and online discussions about this polo shirt incident, some with additional photographs of the offending shirt, with and without the offending logo (see here and here).

The operative Chinese term for "getting rid of something with Photoshop" in all of these discussions and reports is "Pdiào P掉", where "P" is a verb ("to Photoshop") and "diào 掉" is a resultative verbal complement indicating "with the result that something is removed".  As for "polo" and "logo", in many of the Chinese reports, they are respectively just "POLO" and "LOGO".

For the hypernationalistic Party promoter GT to devote so many column inches to this banal, superficial story shows that it struck a raw nerve at CCP headquarters.

Finally, here is the notorious logo itself.

Selected readings

[Thanks to Mark Metcalf}


  1. AntC said,

    September 15, 2023 @ 7:07 am

    It used to be in The Lanes behind Hong Kong Central or in Tsim Sha Tsui you could get any brand of fashion clothes (and be pestered to buy 'copy watch') ridiculously cheap. Of course the logo was never exactly right, but a photo would have to be taken very close up to spot the difference.

    The vendors were fleet of foot when the police were on their beat.

    The Party chief is paying top dollar? Or just wearing a knock-off like everybody else?

    I see the brand is Korean — the capitalist one, that is.

  2. David Marjanović said,

    September 15, 2023 @ 12:01 pm

    Ah, the Streisand effect strikes again.

    I'm reminded of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and the Rolex watch photoshopped out of the second version of a published photo of him…

    "drawing a snake and adding feet."

    I like that. I should work that into my research at some point; some of it concerns snake-shaped animals (not snakes, though).

  3. Michael Watts said,

    September 16, 2023 @ 12:05 am

    "P diào P掉", where "P" is a verb ("to Photoshop")

    Is P a verb by itself? My impression was that the normal verb meaning "to Photoshop" was PS, not P – if so, this might reflect some spontaneous grammatical analysis of "PS".

    (This is not a question on which I have a strong existing opinion, but I'd be interested in whatever processes might take a native speaker from PS to P掉, or in an explanation of why that isn't plausible.)

  4. Timothy Rowe said,

    September 16, 2023 @ 6:17 am

    I always liked the fact that those street vendors did actually *say* they were "fake Rolex" and didn't try to pretend they were real.

  5. George said,

    September 18, 2023 @ 8:49 am

    @Timothy Rowe

    It's important for the customer to know that it's fake. If you could buy a real Rolex for €5, there wouldn't be much point in wearing either a real or fake one (rather than any old generic €5 watch).

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