Yes, that headline is factually correct and we're totally not making this up.
Yesterday, a sizable contingent of Pokemon fans marched on the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong to protest Nintendo's plans to rename Pikachu. The argument centres around a Cantonese translation of Pokemon. With the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, Nintendo released the new 151 creatures in China under Mandarin names.
Many of the names were renamed entirely, much to the ire of Chinese fans. Pikachu, in particular, was originally known as Bei-Kaa-Chyu (æ¯”åÂ?¡è¶… ) in Hong Kong. However, with Sun and Moon, Pikachu is now known as Pikaqiu (çš®åÂ?¡ä¸˜). While you might argue that the new name sounds more like the English version, the name sounds completely different in Cantonese.
Fans protesting are demanding that Nintendo use a different Cantonese translation of the beloved characters, with many arguing that Nintendo is not respecting Hong Kong culture. Many are vowing to boycott both Pokemon and Nintendo entirely if the changes aren't made.
By harmonising the names of Pokemon, it's an easier option for Nintendo and brings Hong Kong more closely in line with mainland China. However, language and the differences between Mandarin and Cantonese and Hong Kong's nomenclature is highly political. Many of the protestors are in favour of Hong Kong seceding from China and forming an independent nation.
So far, more than 6,000 fans have signed an online petition demanding Nintendo to reconsider their decision.