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Website selling replicas of Obama's traditional Chinese suit
November 16, 2014, 11:58 am

China's online marketplace Taobao is offering buyers the chance to look like a world leader - for less than $30. Shops on the site are selling imitations of the so-called "New Chinese Suits" worn by US President Barack Obama and other leaders at this week's APEC banquet dinner in Beijing.

The traditional-style Chinese button down shirts that have a modern high collar are selling for as little as $27, with the more high-end ones going for nearly $800. And it's not all about the male leaders - the longer Chinese button down jackets and traditional long dresses emblazoned with floral embroidery worn by female leaders and the spouses of their male counterparts are also for sale.

 Some shops are taking made-to-fit orders, with many vendors displaying photos of Obama wearing the suit next to their products.


One vendor described the outfits as "specially designed to respect China's rich history and old traditions," representing "diversity, openness and tolerance."  But the "New Chinese suit" may not be taking off as a trend. Some Weibo users - a popular Chinese micro-blogging network similar to Twitter - don't quite see what the designers were going for.

"They look like shrouds," posted one user, referring to traditional Chinese burial outfits for the dead. Another Weibo user said the US president resembled Wong Fei-hung, a popular martial arts folk hero, in his Chinese attire.

As for sales, by noon local time on Friday, only seven orders for the "New Chinese suits" had been successfully placed on Taobao - no one had ordered the top end $800 suit.

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