Beijing's top cultural attraction has stopped selling one of its collectible items after it was revealed to be a knock-off of an imported product.

The Palace Museum removed its "Gege Doll" from sale after netizens pointed out that the doll's body was identical to a doll body made by Japanese doll maker Azone International. As seen in side-by-side comparisons, doll models for both the Gege doll and Azone doll look remarkably similar.

Acknowledging the similarity between the two dolls, the Taobao account of the Palace Museum put the blame on the factory supply the doll body, explaining that they were told that they were allowed use the Azone-looking doll body.

The post also asserted that the doll's head is a 100 percent original design, and that they intend to release the doll again using a new body model.

Any Gege dolls already sold have been recalled, it added.

Retailing for RMB 599 (USD 95), the 27-centimeter-high Gege doll was touted as being a quintessential example of Qing Dynasty beauty standards with its black almond eyes, wide forehead, and small lips.

The Palace Museum earned USD 158 million in sales selling some 8,700 cultural products in 2016, up from USD 145 million in 2014 when souvenir sales surpassed admission sales by USD 31 million.

Palace Museum cultural products have become so popular for sale that they are available for purchase on Royal Carribean cruise lines. With high-tech exhibits spanning from phone apps to virtual reality, the Palace Museum has partnered with Chinese tech companies to continue developing new technology to promote and develop it even further.

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E-Mail: charlesliu1 (at) qq (dot) com
Twitter: @Sinopath

Images: ECNS, Weibo (2)

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