Han Is Not China

I am generally interested in new M-mount lenses.  But, this new company, HandeVision did not get it right ...

"... the new camera lens brand Handevision ('Han' means China in Mandarin and 'De' is the word for Germany")

And for my friends in Japan, the error in Handevision.jp is also obvious:

Let's get it straight ... putting an equal sign between "Han" and "China" is like calling the United States of America "White" or "Caucasian."  With proper combination of words with "Han" (漢), the phase can be referred to the Han people (漢族人), its language (漢語) or the Han dynasty (漢朝) (202 BC – 220 AD).  Besides Han, there are officially 55 ethnic minority groups living in the Mainland China speaking different languages. To make things worse, a number of these minority groups are being marginalized by the totalitarian regime.  Some of the notable ones being oppressed include the 6 millions Tibetans (Buddhist) and 10 million Uyghurs (Muslim, mostly reside in Xinjiang).

To look at this from a different perspective, I am an American with a heritage of Han, culturally and ethnically. Similar to this example, there are over 50 million overseas Chinese not living in the Mainland China.  

That said, I do not see it as a small mistake, isolated incident or unintentional. Between 50 million overseas Chinese and 120 million non-Han minority groups people living in the Mainland China, HandeVision made an error that mischaracterized over 170 million people globally, which is about the same number of people in Pakistan, the sixth most populated country of the world. Sadly, this error by HandeVision is only one of the many that I have seen lately in different places.  With many people knowingly or unknowingly influenced by all kinds of "soft power" these days on: 1) diplomtic relationships; 2) election campaign financing; 3) university level educational programs; 4) media and theater, etc., HandeVision's error is a tiny drop in the bucket.  I wish I could give HandeVision the benefit of the doubt and call its error a "lost in translation," so my initial enthusiasm towards these lenses would not need to be suppressed by my conscience.

As a Leica M shooter, I was ecstatic to learn about the new M glasses. Especially at first glance, the joint venture looks like it has someone in Germany (who seems to know what they are doing) takes care of the design (hopefully original designs). So long the workers who produce the lens are not being exploited, the joint venture and its parent companies are ethical on its business practices and environmentally conscious/ socially responsible, I see no reason to dislike the new products at this point, particularly they offer cheaper alternatives to the market. We will have to wait and see the quality of its products, though.

I did not see anything wrong about the joint venture's name on itself.  It's the intent (official explanation) behind it complicated by the recent human rights records of the Mainland China. The English version of its press release could have said it's about the Han people or its language, or the Han dynasty. However, that wasn't what HandeVision chose to use. There is a Confucius saying literally: "legitimate name, smooth wording" roughly means "once one gets the right name (legitimacy), their actions/ claims are generally justifiable." Marketing folks in Shanghai Transvision Photographic Equipment Co., Ltd. known for its Kipon lens adapters and is one of the parent companies of the joint venture HandeVision should know better.