Taylor Swift and her 1989 tour are on their way to China, but the pop star’s merchandise could raise the ire of many in the Asian country.
Swift already sells merchandise on local e-commerce giants JD.com and she’ll expand that next month to her own brand of clothing.
However one of Swift’s main branding messages happens to represent the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, when hundreds of students were slaughtered by the Chinese military during pro-democracy rallies.
Here it is spelled out:
T.S 1989 = Tiananmen Square, 1989.
T.S 1989 = Taylor Swift’s album 1989, live tour and her year of birth.
And here’s what it looks like:
A promotional video message from Swift was posted on China’s microblogging site Weibo. The singer introduces the clothing line and greets her fans in Chinese.
The video features models and Swift herself, wearing clothing featuring the 1989 logo.
China’s censorship of the date and discussion is so severe that posting combinations of the numbers 6,4 and 89 on social media sites in the country is blacklisted.
To get around this, internet users in the country often use “May 35” to mean “June 4”.
Swift’s US website features a vast range of items with the offensive numbers and letters but it is unclear if they will be made available in China.