The Chinese are getting into fights over a Starbucks cat-paw cup

Photo: Zhang Peng, Geerati (Getty Images)

Asians! As The Takeout’s 2019 Asian-In-Residence, allow me to explain how Asians work.

Many of us love cute cartoony stuff. We like hand-drawn animals with button eyes, and we like those in the form of trinkets, key chains, phone cases. The Japanese even came up with a word: Kawaii! Cute animal trickets with button eyes make Asians from Korea to Thailand squeal “kawaii!”

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Now that you fully understand how Asians work, also know that many of us would beat the shit out of people who stand in the way of our kawaii tchotchkes. Case in point: In China, Starbucks is selling a limited-edition cup where the interior is shaped like a cat’s paw. (The cat’s paw is considered lucky, and the toy with the motorized waving arm is popular in Chinatown shops—though the maneki-neko comes from Japan.) These tumblers are priced around $30 USD, and there’s such high demand for them that the Chinese are getting into fights just to get their hands on one. Videos of shoving and kicking matches, in fact, have gone viral:

CNN has additional details on Cat Paw Cup Craze: Starbucks has been releasing 1,000 cups for sale daily on the Chinese online store Alibaba, and each time the cups were sold out within one-tenth of a second. Sensing a robust secondary market, the cups have made its way to online auction sites, where they’re listed for as much as 10 times the retail price.


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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.