Taiwan pleads people to stop changing name to ‘salmon’ for free sushi promotion

A restaurant chain promised free food to any customer with the name ‘gui yu’ or salmon

Akshita Jain
Friday 19 March 2021 10:15 GMT
File: Salmon sushi at a restaurant
File: Salmon sushi at a restaurant (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

An official in Taiwan has pleaded with people to stop changing their name to “salmon” to take advantage of a restaurant promotion for free sushi

The request came after dozens filed applications in recent days at government offices to officially change their name and qualify for a promotional offer by restaurant chain Sushiro.

As part of Sushiro’s two-day promotional offer, which ended on Thursday, any customer whose ID card contained the Chinese character “gui yu” – meaning salmon – would get free food, according to The Washington Post. Customers whose name sounded similar to “salmon” were also entitled to a discount. 

Taiwan allows people to change their name up to three times. Reminding them about the rule, Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior said that two of those chances would be wasted if they changed their name to “salmon” and then back. 

“This kind of name change not only wastes time but causes unnecessary paperwork,” deputy interior minister Chen Tsung-yen said. “I hope everyone can be more rational about it.”

A participant added 36 new characters to his name, including the words abalone, scallop and lobster. Another discovered that his mother had already changed his name twice when he was a child. 

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Officials also said that the name change requests have added to their workload. Ou Minxin, an official at a local household registration office in Kaohsiung, told The Washington Post that he has seen names changed to ‘Hotness Salmon’ and ‘Dip Wasabi and Eat Salmon.’

Mr Ou also said that most of them changed their names back after taking advantage of the offer. “It has indeed added to our workload, but it is quite interesting,” he said. 

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