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Chinese sites quick to find an opening for football's bad boy
Publication Date : 05-07-2014
China's online shopping websites have lost no time cashing in on the notoriety of Luis Suarez, world football's bad boy.
The Uruguayan striker has been suspended from all football-related activity for four months and banned from playing in his country's next nine competitive games for biting Giorgio Chiellini of Italy during a World Cup group match in Brazil.
It was the third time that Suarez had bitten an opponent during a game.
Now, Suarez open-mouth bottle openers are in hot demand on Chinese online sites.
Peng Junxiang, general manager of Dongguan Boxiang Rubber Products Co in Guangdong province, said the company has been busy making the openers and the first batch of 5,000 was delivered to clients by Friday.
"The first order came from a client in Guangzhou on June 26, with the image that he had already designed. He placed an order for 2,000 bottle openers and asked me to manufacture them as soon as possible," he said.
Peng said the company does not usually accept such small orders, but decided to go ahead as the World Cup is so popular and the openers will attract orders from other clients. It can manufacture 1,000 openers a day and they sell for 5.90 yuan (95 US cents) each.
Wang Lin owns an e-shop on Taobao.com, China's largest online shopping platform. He began taking orders for the bottle openers on June 26 and about 420 orders had been completed by Friday.
"I came up with the idea the night I watched the game and saw the bite. It has been a good sales idea, the only problem being that the manufacturing process cannot keep up with demand," he said.
Wang's shop sells two types of bottle openers - flat and three-dimensional. The flat ones cost 17 yuan and the three-dimensional ones 30 yuan. Wang has ordered 1,000 of each from his manufacturer.
"The World Cup ends on July 13. Once the tournament is over, customers might lose interest in these products," he said.
Another Taobao shop that was originally selling calligraphy products saw more than 1,700 orders placed for the openers, with the owner saying it would take at least two weeks to complete them.
Yu Guofu, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property disputes in Beijing, said the design, production and sale of the bottle openers may infringe use of personal image rights.
"Although the openers are designed in a cartoon format, people can easily identify the image," Yu said.
Cao Yin contributed to this story