When a video unveiling a Chinese factory mass producing U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump rubber masks appeared on the internet last week, many took to social media to express their horror.
The factory was identified as Jinhua Partytime Latex Art and Crafts Factory in China, and it produces Halloween masks and party supplies. According to plant managers, around 500,000 masks of both Donald Trump and rival Hilary Clinton have been sold to date, with Trump’s being the more popular among the two. Jacky Chen, the factory’s manager, also told Reuters, “Even though the sales are more or less the same, I think in 2016 this mask will completely sell out.”
— Nathan VanderKlippe (@nvanderklippe) May 30, 2016
Not only Chinese factories, but Mexican ones are also profiting from the rise in demand for Trump rubber masks.
Pretty ironic, since Trump didn’t have very nice things to say about either, and was famously quoted saying, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. (…) They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs.They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people!” during his run for Republic nomination in June 2015.
Recently in May, he was also quoted to have criticised the devaluation of Chinese currency, commenting “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country. That’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”
Oh, and who can forget the classic 2012 tweet on global warming?
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
That being said, there is no doubt that Trump has his fair share of supporters, having become the presumptive candidate for the Republican party during the upcoming U.S. Presidential Elections.
Trump On A Roll
On Tuesday (31 May), state newspaper China Daily reported the trend of U.S. election paraphernalia rising on AliExpress, a global retail site under Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group targeting consumers worldwide – many of them located in Russia, Brazil and the United States. A quick search of keyword “trump” gives us over 242 results – with most being t-shirts, followed by metal pins, flags, and of course, rubber masks.
Alibaba’s main site, which caters more to manufacturers, trading companies and resellers who trade in large order quantities was also a treasure throve of Trump-related merchandise, with 4,993 suppliers of such goods being listed.
The products available on AliExpress are a mishmash, ranging from pro-Trump, to anti-Trump to ambiguously neutral Trump-emblazoned items.
However, out of all, one of them stood out – toilet paper with Trump’s pouting face printed on each square.
China Daily found out from Qingdao Wellpaper Industrial Co Ltd, a supplier of the loo paper, that sales of its Trump edition have been on a rapid increase since mid-February. A saleswoman from the company was even quoted saying, “At the start, order were for around 100 rolls a time, but now we’re getting orders for 5,000 rolls”. To date, over 50 of such orders have been made.
Making Merchandise Great Again
We decided to scour AliExpress for the most interesting Trump-ifed items – here are some of them, with no particular inclination:
Get it for US$11.68
Get it for US$10.99
Get it for US$10.04
Get it for US$25.49/10pcs
Get it for US$13.90
Get a compilation of Trump’s insults for US$2.98
Get it for US$11-12
Pick a side (or neither) at US$15.40
Love him or hate him, I bet these products brought on a giggle.
The real intentions of people purchasing the merchandise can only be deduced by pure speculation, but for the rest of us, I think we can safely say that the creativity of these e-entrepreneurs is pretty entertaining.