On the evening of February 20, 2021, a traditional Chinese Chamber pot became a trend on the Chinese social networking site Weibo.
The reason is that Chinese netizens have found that on overseas Amazon, this traditional Chamber pot is being sold as a “Chinese Traditional Fruit Basket”:
There are several merchants selling the Chamber pot, which was popular in China in the 1960s, on Amazon. But they all mark it as something that can be put on the dinner table.
On the product details page, the merchant provides a variety of uses for this container, such as to place flowers, bread, fruit, or to use it as an ice bucket. No one is the real use of this thing in China. On Amazon in many different countries, you can find this product through “Chinese Basket” or “Chinese Traditinal Fruit Basket”.
This thing is actually a kind of chamber pot, popular in China in the last century. In China at that time, many people had no bathrooms in their homes, and people usually had to go to the public toilets outside to do those things. But at night, this chamber pot comes in handy when people need to solve problems temporarily.
The chamber pot adopts a classic Chinese wedding design style, which is decorated by magpies, lotus flowers and the huge traditional Chinese character “囍” (which means festive). Magpie stands for joy in Chinese, and lotus represents harmony. Chamber pot adopted this design because it was often used as a wedding gift at that time.
But some Chinese netizens said that although they would never use it as a wine cooler, the shape of the chamber pot is indeed very suitable for storing red wine and ice.
In addition to mislabeling the use, these Chinese chamber pot sold on Amazon also have exaggerated prices. On Taobao, a Chinese e-commerce site, its price is about 25 yuan (about $3.50). But on Amazon, the chamber pot sells for as much as $60.
A reporter from Red Star News, a Chinese online media, found that the merchants selling the Chinese chamber pot on Amazon were all from China, but they could not find any person in charge of these companies through the company names provided by Amazon.
Through the public database of the Chinese government, the reporter contacted the head of one of the businesses. But the staff member said they had never sold anything on Amazon and that someone had stolen their company ID to register with Amazon.
The reporter informed the Amazon staff in China of this situation. The staff said they would contact Amazon’s headquarters to solve the problem of fake merchants. But he did not mention that these mismarked goods would be banned.