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2022 Winter Olympics Mascot ‘Bing Dwen Dwen’ Goes Viral in China

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With the 2022 Winter Olympics now underway, people in China are looking beyond the world-class athletes and exciting sporting events and getting amped about a seemingly unlikely hero: Beijing Game’s mascot Bing Dwen Dwen.

The panda-inspired character has been a hit on Chinese social media: The hashtag for the mascot has been trending on Weibo, accumulating more than 2.6 billion views.

Designed by Cao Xue, Bing Dwen Dwen is a panda wrapped in an ‘ice shell’ and was chosen as the official mascot from more than 5,800 design submissions worldwide.

Image via the 2022 Olympics’ official website

According to the mascot’s official page on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games website, the ice shell was designed to simulate an astronaut suit, “a tribute to embracing new technologies for a future with infinite possibilities.” The shell is also meant to help the panda skate, snowboard, and ski alongside other Olympic athletes.

The 2022 Olympics’ webpage further explains that ‘Bing’ means ‘ice’ in Mandarin, representing “purity and strength” while ‘Dwen Dwen’ symbolizes being “robust and lively, and also represents children.”

In addition to being the darling of Chinese social media, consumers are rushing to get their hands on the loveable character: Bing Dwen Dwen’s merch sold out in just one second during the presale on the Chinese ecommerce platform Taobao.

However, those who were unable to buy merch have found creative ways to celebrate the mascot. For instance, some crafty fans made their own Bing Dwen Dwen out of snow, while others created memes to show their affection.

Image via Weibo

“Who can say ‘no’ to Bing Dwen Dwen? Its name and appearance are both so cute,” wrote one netizen.

bing dun dun beijing winter olympics mascot

Screengrab via the official Beijing 2022 promotional video on YouTube

In addition, the mascot’s popularity goes beyond China. Japanese reporter Gido Tsujioka went viral on Weibo for his love of the panda mascot and earned himself the nickname ‘Gido Dwen Dwen.’

Gido Tsujioka. Screengrab via Weibo

Specifically, Tsujioka was seen on TV wearing several badges of the character on his press card while covering the Olympics. Furthermore, he reportedly mailed a box of the mascot’s merch home to Japan.

In response, a netizen posted, “I really was influenced by that Japanese reporter. Bing Dwen Dwen is so cute.”

Cover image via Weibo

Kayla He
    Born and raised in China, Kayla received her BA in Communications and Public Service from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently works as a staff writer at RADII and is passionate about telling stories related to social issues women's empowerment. You can find her exploring coffee shops in Shanghai in her free time or rushing for Duffy and Friends plush toys at Shanghai Disneyland.
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