Mascot Bing Dwen Dwen becomes insanely popular amid Beijing Winter Olympic fever
Published: Feb 04, 2022 05:11 PM
Bing Dwen Dwen Photo:VCG

Bing Dwen Dwen Photo:VCG

A cute fluffy panda named Bing Dwen Dwen has stood out from the rest of merchandise for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, with a handful of the official mascot-themed items out of stock amid a whole-of-society Olympics fever.

The chubby panda, wrapped in a layer of ice, resembles an astronaut, and it has become all the rage shortly prior to the Olympics opening, as the lovable mascot, rated by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games as the most trending topic on social media, appeals to Chinese audiences and foreign athletes and media alike. 

In a sign of Bing Dwen Dwen's insane popularity, most of the mascot-themed items including keychains and throw pillows were shown to be out of stock on the flagship store for Olympics merchandise on Tmall and, the two main Chinese online retailers.

Inquiries sent to customer service representatives with the Olympics flagship store on Tmall went unanswered by press time.

Bing Dwen Dwen being sold out on the official store for Winter Olympics is also among the hot search rankings on Sina Weibo, having generated a daily viewship of 140 million as of 3pm Beijing time Friday.

In a post late Thursday night on the Weibo official account of Tmall, the e-commerce platform said the hot-selling Bing Dwen Dwen merchandise  "will be restocked tomorrow." But apparently, the restock failed to meet the enormous needs for the adorable mascot.

Some of the eager fans have also flooded the flagship brick-and-mortar venues in Beijing to try their luck at snapping an ice panda item.

A Beijing resident giving his surname as Long was one of the luckiest fans who secured a Bing Dwen Dwen plush toy at a licensed official store for Winter Olympics merchandise in Beijing's 798 art zone.

Long had reserved the item, going for 288 yuan ($45.28) apiece, by phone. He found the store full of people asking for the out-of-stock panda-themed products when he was there picking up the reserved item, Long told the Global Times on Friday.

Those less lucky are waiting eagerly for new stock, with a galaxy of web users flocking to Weibo and WeChat to express regrets about not having bought the mascot items initially when they became available or to call for more stock.    

The enthusiasm about the mascot in ice panda form has well reverberated through the foreign community that's been captivated by the Beijing Winter Olympics as well.

"I almost cried seeing the mascot," Czech ice dancer Natalie Taschlerova told the Global Times in a recent interview, as she saw that the Olympic mascot was among the gifts athletes receive when they arrived at the Olympic Villages. She said that with her teammates, they had been talking about buying panda-shaped keychains and pillows as they were so cute.

Global Times