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招来 (zhāolái)

CC-EDICT definition: to attract / to incur

她的行动招来上司的批评。
Her actions drew criticism from her superior.

如果你在这件事上失败了,就会招来别人的非议。
You will bring the blame of others upon yourself if you fail in this.

引起 (yǐnqǐ)

CC-EDICT definition: to give rise to / to lead to / to cause / to arouse

这消息在德国引起很大恐慌。
The news aroused much fear in Germany.

他的话引起了她心中极大的愤怒。
His words roused a great rage inside her.

It looks like, in the above examples, 招来 and 引起 can be swapped without changing the meaning. I don't see a meaningful distinction. I encountered 引起 first in my studies, so I expect it's more common.

Question: What's the difference between 招来 and 引起?

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招来 = attract/ incur (cause something to come to the subject, or happen to the subject)

Example:

愚蠢政策招来批评 - Stupid policies attract criticism (the target of criticism is the stupid policies or the people who made the stupid policies)

醜態招来目光 - Foolishness attracts glances (the target of the glances is the foolishness or the one who displays foolishness)

美貌招来狂蜂浪蝶 - Beauty attracts suitors (the target of the suitors is the beauty or the one who possess beauty)

~

引起 = cause (cause something to happen)

Example:

流言引起恐慌 - Rumors cause panic (panic happens because of rumors)

因利益分配問題引起爭執 - Dispute due to distribution of interests (Dispute happens because of problems with interests distribution)

亂扔煙頭引起大火 - Carelessly throwing cigarette butts cause fire (fire happens because of someone throwing cigarette butts)

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招来 is used to indicate that the effect is from other places or sources. Your example, 她的行动招来上司的批评。(from 上司). 如果你在这件事上失败了,就会招来别人的非议。(from 別人).

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招来 A, assumes that A already exists but is not here yet.

她的行动招来上司的批评。

Bosses are known to be harsh on the employees. It is assumed that bosses always have criticism. If her actions are not careful enough, the boss's criticism will be pouring over her.

Same thing as "blame" in the second example. People tend to blame, they just need an outlet.

These expressions are based on a negative assumption of human nature.

There are also some expressions of '招' that assume some superstitious things pre-exist. For example:

招来厄运: attract bad luck. The assumption is that luck is somewhere in the air, you can attract good or bad luck to you. You are not lucky, instead, you are with good luck.

招财: attract wealth. The assumption here is that wealth is not just money, it is also some kind of spiritual existence that someone with wealth can acquire money easier.

引起:instead of "cause", it is more like "trigger". It is not like labor causes gain. Instead, it is more like a cigarette causes fire in the woods. So it is used to describe a phenomenon that is triggered by an action. It has a different assumption from '招来' because the thing happens afterward does not pre-exist.

But in general, they all describe the causal relation. You can say "招来非议" as well as "引起非议", based on your assumption of human nature.

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