China firms scramble to stamp 'Ivanka' on their products

BEIJING • China is still coming to terms with United States President Donald Trump, but his daughter, Ms Ivanka Trump, has never been more popular here.

Chinese companies have been scrambling to add her name to their products since her father won the US presidential election in November. An incredible 258 trademark applications were lodged under variations of Ivanka, Ivanka Trump and similar-sounding Chinese characters between Nov 10 and the end of last year, records at the China Trademark Office show.

None appears to have a direct business link with the US President's daughter.

The trademark applications cover a dizzying array of products, including diet pills, anti-wrinkle cream, spa services, massage machines, cosmetic surgery, underwear and sanitary napkins.

Then there are the applications for women's blouses, jewellery, swimwear and towels, as well for a whole range of products that seem to bear little relation to the business executive and former model: milk powder, canned food, honey, sweets, coffee, wine and beer; mirrors, mattresses and sofas; medical equipment; and even agricultural technology.

Ms Trump has her own line of fashion items and has registered nine trademarks in China, with 26 applications pending and three rejected. Her applications include items such as skincare and cleansing products, leather goods, purses, suitcases, umbrellas, dresses and other clothes.

Ms Trump, of course, has her own line of fashion items and has registered nine trademarks in China, with 26 applications pending and three rejected.

Her applications include items such as skincare and cleansing products, leather goods, purses, suitcases, umbrellas, dresses and other clothes.

But many other companies want to take advantage of her fame.

Mr Li Jun, founder of Foshan Bainuo Sanitary Products, has applied for the trademark for Chinese characters for a range of women's sanitary napkins, underwear and incontinence pads, using the usual transliteration of Ivanka's name in Chinese, yiwanka (pronounced ee-wan-ka).

"I first saw her giving a speech on television to support her father's election," he said. "I was captivated by her incomparable disposition and air... Her speech was full of elegance and charisma."

Ms Trump was popular even before the election, admired for her fashion sense and what Chinese netizens call her "goddess" good looks.

A video of her young daughter, Arabella, reciting a Chinese poem to celebrate Chinese New Year last year went viral, garnering nearly nine million views in just a few days.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 26, 2017, with the headline 'China firms scramble to stamp 'Ivanka' on their products'. Print Edition | Subscribe