The cover story in the August issue of China Economic Review looks at how certain companies are positioning themselves to leverage the marketing opportunities created by the 2008 Olympics.
Obviously, a host of other firms – most with no official Olympic ties whatsoever – are going to extremes to cash in on the Olympics story. They include, it seems, a wildlife research center in Chengdu, in southwestern China. Staff at the center are sculpting Olympic souvenirs out of panda dung, of which they are blessed with 300 metric tons each year.
"We used to spend at least RMB6,000 a month to get rid of the droppings, but now they can prove lucrative as half of them will be sold as souvenirs," said Jing Shimin, assistant to the director of the center.
And don’t worry about the smell.
"They don’t smell too bad because 70% of the dung is just remains of the bamboo that the pandas are unable to digest."