Can’t get a Bing Dwen Dwen? Chinese factories resume work early to increase supply
Published: Feb 08, 2022 08:42 PM
Bing Dwen Dwen Photo:VCG

Bing Dwen Dwen Photo:VCG

For those who want a Bing Dwen Dwen but sadly find it already out of stock in all the stores they visit, Chinese manufacturers are now mobilizing workers to come back earlier from the Spring Festival holidays for production of the panda mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, to ensure that every desperate fan can take one home as soon as possible.

Wrapped in a layer of ice, resembling an astronaut, the cute fluffy panda has emerged as a fan favorite during the ongoing Beijing Winter Games amid a whole-of-society Olympics fever, resulting in a global "buying spree" of related products.

Several manufacturing plants across the country, most of which were still closed for the Lunar New Year, which overlaps with the Olympics, told the Global Times on Tuesday that they've already quickly resumed work, and they're devoted to production of the chubby panda to rapidly increase supply.

According to the official website of the Beijing Winter Olympics, there are 29 licensed manufacturers of the Winter Olympics across the country, producing badges, key chains, plush toys, handicrafts, outdoor products and other licensed products.

A licensed manufacturer of Bing Dwen Dwen plush toys in East China's Zhejiang Province said that the firm has already resumed production ahead of schedule, and is currently preparing materials and stocking up. "We've also been negotiating with various departments, including raw materials firms, to quickly get into production," a manager of the firm told the Global Times.

A staffer surnamed Chen at Shunmei Group, a porcelain crafts maker in Dehua, East China's Fujian Province, told the Global Times that the factory has quickly resumed operation, and now has to work overtime to catch up with the huge demand.

The factory produces two sizes of porcelain Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon figures, all hand-made, the bigger one priced at 278 yuan ($43.70), and the smaller one sold at 198 yuan.

"Sales of the products were great and the first batch of stock has sold out," said Chen of Shunmei Group. She said consumers can now only pre-order the figures, revealing that the company's sales on Sunday reached 100,000 yuan. 

The next batch of products is estimated to be delivered after February 25, Chen said. "I can promise that every customer who has already placed an order will receive what they ordered after the 25th," said Chen.

Most of the mascot-themed items, including keychains and throw pillows, were shown to be out of stock on the flagship stores for Olympics merchandise on Tmall and, the two main Chinese online retailers. 

Shoppers are willing to line up in the bitter pre-dawn cold outside of flagship stores for several hours to buy one of the figurines, and some shops even set a limit of one mascot souvenir for each customer.

Globally, the Bing Dwen Dwen hashtag has also been a hot topic on social media platforms like Twitter.

Guo Lei, an official from the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, said on Tuesday that the temporary lack of inventory for a range of 2022 Winter Olympic Games-related merchandise, including Bing Dwen Dwen, was caused by sudden surges in demand and yet-to-recover production capacity following the Spring Festival holidays.

But, after several rounds of consultations with manufacturers, several factories have gradually resumed production and have taken various proactive measures to increase production, which will result in an uninterrupted supply soon, Guo told a press conference, adding that the committee attaches great importance to the issue.  

The official said that 2022 Winter Olympic Games-related merchandise includes 16 main categories and over 5,000 different products, which will remain on sale until the end of June, urging fans to buy the souvenirs through proper channels and avoid illegal activities such as price gouging and speculation.