BEIJING (AP) — The race is on to snap up scarce 2022 Winter Olympics souvenirs.
Dolls of mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, a panda in a winter coat, sold out Monday after buyers waited in line overnight in freezing weather.
People showed up with stools Sunday night outside the Gongmei Emporium on the Wangfujing pedestrian mall in central Beijing. Some were from a mini-industry of people who are paid to wait in line to buy the latest smartphones and other consumer crazes for clients.
On Monday, a sign in Gongmei’s window said it had 300 Bing Dwen Dwen figures and buyers were allowed one each. It promised more Tuesday.
The Beijing Olympic organizing committee asked souvenir factories to make more, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Many reopened this week after shutting down for two weeks or more during the Lunar New Year holiday.
In the Houhai neighborhood to the north of the Chinese capital’s center, a shop hung out a sign before 10 a.m. saying Bing Dwen Dwen souvenirs were sold out.
Gongmei’s Wangfujing flagship sold Olympics merchandise worth 3 million yuan ($470,000) on Friday, the day of the opening ceremony, the official newspaper Global Times reported.