International marketing is tricky -- sometimes statements that are perfectly innocent in one country have unfortunate connotations in another. That's a problem faced by Apple, whose slogan for the iPhone 7 translates to "this is penis" in Hong Kong, according to a report.
The slogan is bad enough in the US -- "banal," as the report on the business news site Quartz notes. But in Cantonese, the Chinese dialect spoken in Hong Kong, the word for "seven" is pronounced "tsat," and is also slang for "penis."
"The word isn't particularly offensive. Instead, it is often used to describe a hilarious person or thing, or mock someone gently. Let's say a friend slipped in public, or got a goofy haircut: you can say to him in Cantonese 'You are so seven,' without hurting his feelings too much," says Quartz writer Zeping Huang.
Or tsat can mean, literally, "penis," Huang notes.
Suggestion for Apple: In Chinese, call the iPhone 7 a "ding-a-ling."
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— Mitch Wagner, , Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud