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In English context, "a person who knows this", "an anonymous resource" or "a well-informed person",etc sometimes is used to cover the identity.

Yesterday I read a news story, in which a company is presented as某公司, but the subsequent sentence gives the name of the manager of this very company, and a researcher and her institution without any concealment or rewording.

And it is not uncommon to see news stories in Chinese use the word 某, so this cultural difference is beyond my understanding.

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[某 + (n)] = [a certain + unspecified (n)]

Example:

某公司 = a certain company = a (unspecified) Company

某人 = a certain person = a (unspecified) person

某天 = a certain day = a (unspecified) day

A more colloquial way to say the same thing is 有公司, 有人, 有天

Example

有公司涉嫌詐騙 A company is suspected of fraud (an unspecified company)

有人棄保潛逃 Someone jumped bail and absconded. (an unspecified person)

有天發生意外 One day an accident happened (an unspecified day)

A company is presented as 某公司, but the subsequent sentence gives the name of the manager of this very company,

It was a mistake on the writer's part. After referring to a certain company as 某公司(an unspecified/ name unstated company), the news report should refer to that company as 該公司 = That company (the previously mentioned, unspecified company) from then on

it is not uncommon to see news stories in Chinese use the word 某, so this cultural difference is beyond my understanding.

某 is a more literary term, more common in writing and formal speech/ report than in day-to-day speech

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  • I understand a company is a commercial institute and it is not so good to give its name directly in the report, but why is a double standard applied? That is, company name is concealed while the name of its worker revealed? Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 9:58
  • I suspect the company is accused of wrongdoing, not the workers of that company. The company might sue the news network for defamation if it's later found not guilty
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 10:22
  • Maybe. But due to this practice of using 某 to refer to a real person, it is likely fake reports may occur. A Chinese mainstream media reporter was said to have completed her coverage of 2008 earthquake in Sichuan in her hotel room. Commented Dec 10, 2023 at 4:26

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