US media views Ivanka’s China business with biased lens

By Zhang Yi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/23 23:53:39

On April 6, Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks for jewelry, spa services and ladies' bags. Her company already holds 16 registered trademarks in China. The news has attracted much negative press in the US, as the media believes Ivanka and her family are deeply involved in China contacts and policy.

The bias of the US media toward Donald Trump started from the beginning of the election. The relationship between Trump and the mainstream media didn't see any improvement after Trump took office. As the media is constantly finding faults with Trump, the connection between Ivanka and China gives the media ammunition to attack the first daughter.

The US media coverage of the trademark issue carries many political implications and prejudices against China. As Trump has become president, any business Ivanka's company does with China or anything that relates to China appears problematic, many US media and experts believe, citing the reason that China is a communist country. This is misleading public opinion.

As Ivanka builds a political career from a West Wing office, her brand is flourishing. It was reported that US imports of her merchandise, almost all from China, grew an estimated 40 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Apart from Ivanka's own personality and appeal, market rules matter. The "made in China" label ensures good quality and reasonable prices which cater to the need of consumers from the US and other countries. The US, with its grand ambition crafted by the president to "become great again," needs to acknowledge market rules.

Many in the US have questioned whether Ivanka is on the right side of the law, given her connection with her father as US president. So far, there is no evidence showing Ivanka has done anything illegal. As Americans view dimly such an intertwinement of politics and business, Ivanka is walking on a tight rope.

China's trademark authorities have treated the legal trademark rights of both Chinese and foreign businessmen equally and look into their trademark applications according to laws and regulations. But the US media views the process through a prejudicial lens.

Trademarks form the bedrock of a brand and can be signs of corporate ambition. For Ivanka Trump, it is worth having such a valuable entitlement in China that boasts vast business potential across the world.

Ivanka's brand does not have much of a retail presence in China yet. It remains to be seen whether Ivanka's company will use her fame and business savvy to get bigger deals in China. Ivanka is more than welcome to develop her brand in China, and the Chinese market is open to all that abide by the law. The US media should facilitate this process rather than undermining China-US relations.


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