Obama memorabilia banned in China

China is an increasingly powerful force in the field of collectibles, but in some cases its government isn't as keen as it might be.

In the run up to Obama's visit to China, officials became uneasy about much of the memorabilia relating to the US President on offer for sale.

The ban was uneven. Shopkeepers had visits from Beijing's Industry and Commerce Administration officials telling them not to sell anything with Obama's image involved. However sometimes neutral images, such as those with Obama dressed as superman, were allowed to be sold.

ObaMao merchandise was completely off limits, however. The image, created by Liu Mingjie, depicts Obama in a green jacket and cap with arm raised, causing him to resemble Chairman Mao Zedong. Sales of ObaMao T-shirts, purses and magnets have been brisk since their introduction in September.

A sales clerk said they believed there was a fear the images might be offensive - which would be in keeping with recent wranglings over whether 'Aobama' or 'Oubama' was the better Chinese approximation of his name - Officials denied that the shop visits had taken place at all.

Some political memorabilia can be valuable - we recently discussed the value of political autographs. China's influence on all collectibles was the subject of one of our recent newsletters.


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