Friday, March 13, 2015

Women's Day at a Warground in China

Despite it being five days since the official public holiday, today I saw a remaining indication of International Women's Day in China: a sale at a War Ground store in Zhongshan, Guangdong province.

Warground store in Zhongshan with a Happy Women's Day sale sign

The number 3.8 on the "Happy Women's Day" sign at the store not only represents the date of International Women's Day but also indicates select items have been discounted to 38% of their original price.

War Ground is based in nearby Dongguan*, and a number of stores sell its military-themed clothing. On prominent display at the store in Zhongshan was a shirt with American and British flags. War Ground's website currently includes a variety of photos that, like some of its clothing, include a Western theme to some degree (for example, here and here). One set appearing in a rotation of images especially caught my attention.

partial screenshot of Warground website with images of and American flag and people wearing camouflage clothing accompanied by the text "No. 1 Pearl Harbor Hawaii"

As evidenced by the Pabst Blue Ribbon World War II memorial beer I saw in Hengyang, this is not the first time I have seen references to the U.S. role in World War II on commercial products in China.

And similar to an image of a U.S. flag in an English-learning mobile app I also saw in Hengyang, one of the images in War Ground's Pearl Harbor set appears to be a cropped version of an image posted elsewhere: in this case a photo taken by Daly Sorvongsavanh posted under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license.

U.S. flag at Pearl Harbor
Photo by Daly Sorvongsavanh; See here for original and rights reserved.

War Ground's use of the photo doesn't appear to respect any of the license's main conditions**, but it's possible they have received Sorvongsavanh's permission directly.

Whatever the case, I doubt the Women's Day sale at War Ground will last much longer. And I would be surprised if they have a sale for China's next official public holiday.

*The War Ground website lists 美林(香港)投资发展有限公司 as the owner of the brand and the website. Based on the name, this company appears to be connected with Merrill Lynch Far East Limited in Hong Kong, but I did not find confirmation.

**Whether the cropped version of the photo should be considered a violation of "no derivatives" is debatable though.

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