The reason why Taylor Swift is in trouble in China

Taylor Swift has been in trouble with photographers and sort-of in trouble with Nicki Minaj in the last few days, and now she might have inadvertently made an enemy out of the Chinese government.

The singer, ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes for her entrepreneurial savvy, is launching her own clothing line next month. It will be available around the world, including on popular Chinese websites.

However - clothes and accessories featuring the date "1989", the year of Swift's birth, her latest album and current world tour - have a politically charged meaning for many people in China.

Unfortunately for Taylor, the same goes for her initials: "T.S. 1989" could well be interpreted as a reference to the Tienanmen Square massacre of 1989.

In a promotional video for the new range posted on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, Swift introduces herself in Chinese ("Ni hao, it's Taylor Swift. Be sure to check out my new authentic merch, now available in China”) while images of models wearing "1989" t-shirts cycle past.

On JD.com, she is pictured wearing a black top with '1989' emblazoned across the front:

The Chinese government denies killing at least 500 protesting students on 4 June 1989, and blocks web searches related to it. Talking about the event is so sensitive in China that the numbers '6', '4', and '89' consecutively are blacklisted from social media sites.

Taylor is scheduled to perform in Shanghai in November as part of her 1989 world tour.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)