Monday, December 28, 2015

Mockey Mouse Spirit During Christmas in China

Christmas Eve could have been merrier for Disney in China, despite recent indications it will receive special attention in the government's efforts to reduce the number of imitation goods.

young woman wearing a "Mockey Mouse" coat standing next to a Christmas tree in Xiamen, China
What could be a better name for a mock Mickey Mouse?

Obvious imitations of Disney's trademarks, like the one above seen in Xiamen, are still common in China. A couple of months ago I saw an especially large number of "Mockey" clothing items in Shaoguan.

So when in Xiamen this past Christmas weekend I saw Mickeys, or perhaps Mockeys, at an arcade . . .

large Mickey Mouse statue outside an arcade in Xiamen

. . . on a car . . .

Mickey Mouse decals on a car with "新手上路 请多关照"

. . . on underwear . . .

Mickey Mouse underwear for sale in Xiamen

. . . and at a pedestrian street . . .

girl posing with a Mickey Mouse mascot at the Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street in Xiamen

. . . all sights I have seen elsewhere in China as well, it was easy to question whether they brought much holiday joy to Disney.


  1. I've seen some of these examples and sometimes I get the impression that they are simply production mistakes that have been rejected by the client purchasers. The mainland market is flooded with overruns and rejects. Does it really make sense that a Chinese clothing manufacturer, worried about IPRs, might change one letter?

  2. I think imitations of brands such as Apple offer strong evidence of manufacturers in China deliberately making small changes in an attempt to avoid copyright / trademark issues. It can make sense, since the boundaries of what counts as "too close" can be fuzzy, the rules vary from country to country, and manufacturers may not be clear as to what is OK or not. But I have also seen examples of goods which I suspect are the result of mistakes. I lean towards the former explanation for the Mockey coat, but I wouldn't be shocked to learn otherwise.