Retailers in China are denying speculation by Western media that the Taylor Swift 1989 clothing line might not be sold in China. The controversy surrounding Taylor Swift’s new clothing range in the country has been linked to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, references to which have been effectively censored on the Chinese web.
Thanks to Global Times’ coverage of the story, we can confirm that Taylor Swift merchandise will indeed be on sale at Tmall and JD.com, popular e-commerce sites. The merchandise has entered the Chinese market through a branding agency called HERITAGE66, which is strategically marketing a more subtle line of merchandise in China.
Chinese consumers are not being offered the potentially controversial black hoodie, spray-painted T.S.1989, by the official merchandisers. However, web users can always buy a fake version on Taobao (although the proliferation of unauthorized merchandise on such sites is the reason she launched the official clothing line on JD.com).
A screen shot shows the “controversial” T.S 1989 sweater up for sale on Taobao.
In fact, the politically sensitive logo “T.S.1989” does not appear feature on any of the official Taylor Swift clothing designs sold in China. Instead consumers can choose from a slightly more placid range, “The 1989 World Tour” or “Shanghai China Taylor Swift” for example.
Swift’s merchandisers are adamant that the “1989” logo will not jeopardize her Chinese tour, telling Global Times: “It’s simply not true”.
And for now, the show must go on.
by Dan Cunningham