Welcome to the Hour Lounge!
I don't know how VC's Chinese name was created, or by whom, though I would believe that James is correct in that it was created in HK based on Cantonese. I've always assumed it was a phonetic translation of Constantin, and not a combination of Vacheron Constantin. I don't think VC would shorten both names to come up with something close to "VACHE STANTIN".
This is actually the first time I heard somebody associate "江诗“ (pronouce 'jiang shi' in mandarin, the first two characters in VC's Chinese name) to 僵尸 (corpse, also pronounce 'jiang shi' in mandarin). When I say VC's Chinese name, the four Chinese characters have never given me the impression of, or association with, CORPSE. Though I can see your point.
Besides pronunciation, Chinese characters are also hieroglyphic (not of the Egyptian kind
). I personally believe the four characters: 江诗丹顿 (VC's whole Chinese name, pronounced 'jiang shi dan dun') are sort of elegant and may leave people with a poetic impression when you see them or pronounce them.
As I'm sure you know, some Chinese characters may be pronounced exactly the same, but present totally different meanings. For example, it would be hard to associate 老师 (teacher, pronounced 'lao shi' in mandarin) to 老尸 （old dead body, also pronounced 'lao shi' in mandarin), unless your just joking. Isn't it?
There are many stories of names being translated from one language to another and ending with embarrassing or unintended meanings. I'm not an expert, but I think VC came up with a very good translation and can't think of a better one off the top of my head.
For all the other Sinophile VC fans out their, please chime in!
Best Regards, Dan