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Land of the panda running out of Beijing Olympic pandas

BEIJING (AFP) – The land of the panda failed to produce enough panda souvenirs for the Beijing Winter Olympics, a red-faced Chinese official admitted yesterday.

Bing Dwen Dwen, a cuddly panda on ice skates, is the official mascot of the Beijing Games – but people in China are being frustrated in their efforts to buy her. With spectators largely banned from the Games due to coronavirus restrictions, owning a Bing Dwen Dwen souvenir will be the closest most people get to the Games.

But demand is outstripping supply – there have been long queues at Olympic souvenir shops in Beijing, with some people waiting for more than three hours and others turned away disappointed.

A spokesman for the local Games organisers said the supply problems stemmed from the Lunar New Year holiday in China, which coincided with the start of the Olympics.

“Because of the Spring festival, it is still the holidays now. Many of the workers at the factory are taking their holiday leave back home so the supply of licenced products has been affected by that,” Zhao Weidong, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympics organising committee, said. “We are now making efforts in coordinating the production and supply of Bing Dwen Dwen,” he said.

Demand for cuddly toys of Bing Dwen Dwen, the panda mascot of the Beijing Winter Olympics, has outstripped supply. PHOTO: AFP

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