BEIJING — China is still coming to terms with President Trump, but his daughter Ivanka has never been more popular here.
Chinese companies have been scrambling to add her name to their products since her father won the U.S. presidential election in November. There’s even a new Chinese cosmetic-surgery firm offering the chance to look a little more like her.
An astounding 258 trademark applications were lodged under variations of Ivanka, Ivanka Trump and similar-sounding Chinese characters between Nov. 10 and the end of last year, records at the China Trademark Office show.
None appear to have a direct business link with the U.S. president’s daughter.
The trademark applications cover a dizzying array of products, including diet pills, anti-wrinkle cream, spa services, massage machines, cosmetic surgery, underwear and sanitary napkins.
Then there are applications for women’s blouses, jewelry, swimwear and towels, as well for a whole range of products that seem to bear little relation to the business executive and former model: milk powder, canned food, honey, candy, coffee, wine and beer; mirrors, mattresses and sofas; medical equipment; and even agricultural technology.
Ivanka, of course, has her own line of fashion items and has registered nine trademarks in China, with 26 applications pending and three rejected. Her applications include items such as skin-care and cleansing products, leather goods, purses, suitcases, umbrellas, dresses and other clothes, and computer software.
Ivanka’s pending applications were all submitted in May and June last year by the Chinese law firm Chang Tsi & Partners.
But many other companies want to take advantage of her fame.
The founder of Foshan Bainuo Sanitary Products has applied for the trademark for the Chinese characters 伊万卡 for a range of women’s sanitary napkins, underwear and incontinence pads, using the usual transliteration of Ivanka’s name in Chinese, yiwanka (pronounced ee-wan-ka).
“I first saw her giving a speech on television to support her father’s election,” said Li Jun, the company’s founder. “I was captivated by her incomparable disposition and air, even the way she tucked her hair behind her ear. Her speech was full of elegance and charisma.”
Ivanka Trump was popular even before the election, admired for her fashion sense and what Chinese Netizens call her “goddess” good looks.
A video of her young daughter, Arabella, reciting a Chinese poem to celebrate Chinese New Year in 2016 enjoyed a surge of popularity on the Internet here after the election, garnering nearly 9 million views in just a few days.
Ivanka won more fans when she and Arabella visited the Chinese Embassy in Washington to celebrate the lunar new year last month.
“I think her name will be very helpful for the publicity of our brand and products, because I believe she is a very positive role model for all women,” Li said.
Other applications have been lodged for “Ivanka,” “Ivanka Trump,” and a few for the characters 依万卡, which also spell yiwanka.
A company in the southern city of Foshan had the foresight to register its name — Foshan Yiwanka Medical Management — just before the election. With just 15 employees, it offers cosmetic surgery around the eyes and nose, as well as liposuction and breast enlargement, said human resources manager Li Yunxing.
“Young women in China like to change their looks to copy film stars’ eyes, noses and lips,” he said. “No doubt young women here want Ivanka’s big eyes, her pretty nose and lips and her flawless figure.
“Her facial features, disposition and appearance are perfect,” Li added, “no matter whether they are judged by the beauty standards of the East or the West.”
Taking advantage of — or faking — foreign brands is common in China, as is the practice of “trademark squatting,” whereby someone preemptively registers a spurious trademark claim in the hope of later being paid to relinquish it.
Whether any of these trademark claims will be successful is another matter.
China’s enforcement of trademarks has been brought closer to global standards in recent years, and in January the Supreme People’s Court issued guidelines specifically outlawing use of the names of public figures involved in politics, economy, culture and religion.
In December, the court also revoked the right of sportswear-maker Qiaodan Sports to use Michael Jordan’s last name written in Chinese characters, ruling that Jordan is “well recognized” here and should have the legal right to his name.
At Foshan Bainuo Sanitary Products, Li said he realized there was a possibility his trademark application would be rejected. “But I have to try,” he said. “I can’t let go of such a good name from this influential woman for our sanitary napkins.”
President Trump has also waged several battles to trademark his own brand name in China, winning an appeal last year to claim the “TRUMP” name for construction services from a man named Dong Wei, who had held the trademark for a decade, apparently without using it.
Although trademark lawyers said there were sound legal reasons for Trump to have won the case, the victory did prompt speculation that he may have received special favors from the Chinese government.
The Chang Tsi law firm declined to comment for this story, but if Ivanka Trump’s company chooses to contest any trademark claims in China, the cases are sure to attract international interest and scrutiny.
Scott Palmer, a partner and leading trademark lawyer in the Beijing office of Los Angeles-based Sheppard Mullin, said he had seen “no evidence whatsoever” that the Chinese government had provided Trump any favors in his trademark litigation. But, he added, the fact that Trump has long traded on the value of his name makes this uncharted waters for an American president.
“How can you divorce yourself from your business interests, if your business is really your name?” Palmer said.
Congcong Zhang contributed to this article.