Taylor Swift Merchandise Facing Counterfeiters in China


Counterfeiters wasted no time cribbing the clothing that Nashville singer Taylor Swift designed. Perhaps she should have tagged them with the jingle ‘You Belong to Me’ she included in her second album Fearless. Fearless the counterfeiters certainly are. They took just a few days to start selling carbon copies of Swift designs on online shopping websites.

Not Something New, Says Media

Taylor SwiftAccording to a BBC report, Taylor Swift has been down this road before. While she officially released her range of designer clothing in China the other day, shake-offs have been competing with genuine offerings on Taobao for quite some time.

These include clothing, pens, notebooks and drinking mugs all emblazoned with Taylor Swift designs. Read the small print, and the words “in the same style” offer a disclaimer that fails to dent the draw of a lower price.

Is Taylor Swift Playing with Fire?

Some authentic merchandise is easy to spot. Swift’s bags, hair ties and bracelets are branded T.S. 1989 after her initials and year of birth. No Chinese merchant will risk a counterfeit because of the possible reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. Do you remember the infamous moment when their government blacklisted any consecutive combinations of numbers 6, 4, and 89 on social media websites in China?

Swift Fans’ Reactions Mixed

Chinese teens and twenty-somethings know that flaunting officials constitutes ‘unruly behaviour’ and can lead to sanctions. One Weibo’d, “Girl, don’t fight so hard please. Rein in your personality in the heavenly kingdom of China. Just focus on singing.” Another responded, “You all want to make big news out of this and criticize Taylor Swift. Stop it before you destroy Mei Mei’s 1989 Shanghai concert! I’m so angry.”

Will Chinese Censors Ride the Wave?

I shall be following this with interest. Will China take revenge and ban the November 2015 Concert ? Or will its censors look the other way and prove to have a subtle sense of Chinese humour?

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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