The race is on to snap up scarce 2022 Winter Olympic souvenirs. Dolls of mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, a panda in a winter coat, sold out after buyers waited in line overnight in freezing weather.
People showed up with stools outside the Gongmei Emporium on the Wangfujing pedestrian mall in central Beijing. Some were from a mini-industry of people who are paid to wait in line to buy the latest smartphones and other consumer crazes for clients.
A sign in Gongmei's window said it had 300 Bing Dwen Dwen figures and buyers were allowed one each. It promised more the following day. The official Xinhua News Agency said Olympics organizers have asked factories to make more.
Fans of the mascot have reportedly cheered louder from crowds than cheers heard for athletes competing, CNN reported.
Bing Dwen Dwen, known to some as "BDD," is easily spotted all around Beijing at event sites, in the stands for competitions as well as on signs and flags. Stuffed versions of the mascot are given to medalists, surrounded by a gold wreath, even before athletes receive their medals.