A Chinese retailer’s promotion of a Buddha statue crafted in the likeness of former U.S. President Donald Trump has gone viral on Chinese social media platforms, the Chinese state-run Global Times reported Tuesday.
“The statue, with Trump’s contemplative face lowered, and both hands resting in its lap, is labeled by the seller on Taobao as ‘Trump, who knows Buddhism better than anyone,’” according to the newspaper. Taobao is a Chinese online shopping site owned by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
“Make your company great again”
A ceramic figurine of former US president Donald Trump as Buddha is trending on China’s online shopping platform Taobao with this slogan. The item is priced ranging from 999 yuan ($153) to 3,999 ($614) depending on size pic.twitter.com/p79fk9gx7i
— TRT World (@trtworld) March 10, 2021
A small, five-foot-tall version of the Trump Buddha statue is currently listed on Taobao for 999 Chinese yuan ($150). The large version, listed as 15 feet tall, is priced at 3,999 yuan ($610).
Trump is sculpted with his hands “folded in his laps, thumbs pointing outwards … [in] a pose from Buddhist art that signifies meditation and contemplation,” the Guardian noted Wednesday.
The statue’s Fujian province-based Taobao seller told the Global Times he adapted Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan “into something auspicious for Chinese companies: ‘make your company great again.’”
“Most people just bought it for fun,” the seller explained, noting his Chinese retailer made just 100 of the “Trump as Buddha” statues and has “already sold dozens.”
A buyer of the statue in Shanghai, China’s largest city and financial hub, told the Global Times he purchased the item after seeing it advertised on the Chinese social media platform WeChat.
“I bought it for fun and put it on my desk at home as a decoration,” he said.
“Trump can also be regarded as a representative of an era, and extreme egoism. Now the era has passed but I want the statue to remind me: Don’t be too Trump,” he added.
This is not the first time Trump Buddha statues have been spotted for sale on e-commerce platforms. The U.S.-based craft website Etsy currently sells a 3D-printed, bright orange Trump Buddha figurine for $8.99.
“The Trump Buddha is not intended to stir up anything political. In fact, this Laughing Buddha mashup is simply a reminder that, no matter where we fall in the political spectrum, we could all use a little more laughter and joy in our lives!” the seller wrote in a description of the item.
Trump remains a popular inspiration for merchandise sold on Taobao despite his leaving office on January 20 after the end of his first presidential term. Taobao continues to sell “Trump facemasks, models, little statues, hats, socks and more,” according to the Guardian.