Taylor Swift’s 1989 Merch Is Being Censored In China

Taylor Swift’s official e-commerce store launched in China this week ahead of her 1989 tour touching down in Shanghai in November. Totally fine, totally normal. What is more curious, however, is that all mentions of 1989 have been scrubbed from the site. According to Buzzfeed News, the clothing line launched on H66Style.com, but all instances of 1989 have disappeared from the site.

For some context, 1989 is the year when China’s most heavily-censored and bloodiest protest took place. The massacre in Tiananmen Square saw hundreds of pro-democracy advocates killed by the Chinese government. You do not talk about it in China, ever. No one does.

Swift, who goes by the unfortunate but fitting nickname Mei Mei, meaning “Mold Mold,” obviously didn’t know this history. That’s fine. There is always somebody who’s going to be offended by something, regardless of their original intentions. But one thinks that Mei Mei’s people could have looked into this a little more before excitedly offering a huge swath of her fanbase exclusive, super-cool merch and then swiftly snatching it from under their noses.

For Chinese fans of Mei Mei, there are still other items available that won’t offend, so at least there’s that. There’s no doubt in my mind that her merchandise will sell like piping fresh mantou, straight out of a bamboo steamer. But, in light of other mishaps, like Katy “Fruit Sister” Perry’s unintentional jab at the Chinese government when she performed in Taipei, draped in a Taiwanese flag and covered in sunflowers, which accidentally aligned her with a protest movement that China wasn’t too thrilled about.

Is there someone in Mei Mei’s camp that could’ve done a little, teensy bit of research? Eh, maybe. Looks like this time she’ll just shake it off.