[BUSINESS] Yue Sai Kan's "China Doll" sales
When Yue Sai Kan visited China several years ago, she made a promise
to bring back a Chinese doll for a friend's daughter. But after an
exhaustive search, Kan realized that, even throughout Asia, fashion
dolls have sandy blond hair and Caucasian features.
"When I found out there was no Asian doll, I was stunned," Kan says.
Now Kan is the creator of a line of dolls called Yue Sai Wa Wa (wa wa
means both "doll" and "little girl" in Chinese). When it was recently
introduced to U.S. markets on the QVC home shopping network, a
seismic $350,000 worth of dolls were sold in the first hour. Now Yue
Sai Wa Wa is available at retailers such as Toys R' Us and FAO
For Kan, a popular TV personality and cosmetics giant in China,
starting a line of dolls that celebrate Asian beauty was a natural
She notes that several companies have attempted to introduce Asian
dolls into the Chinese market, but failed quickly because they did
not take the time to produce quality dolls. Kan explains the absence
of Asian fashion dolls quite simply: "It's hard to make a beautiful
Not only did Kan make sure Yue Sai Wa Wa was beautifully crafted, but
each doll comes with an educational story on the back of the box. One
doll comes with a history of the chi-pao the high neck dress often
associated with Chinese fashion.
The doll appeals to Americans of all stripes, says Kan, who considers
the doll "an ambassador to the West".
Although Yue Sai Wawa is a Chinese doll, Kan said QVC will introduce
Thai and Japanese versions on June 27, followed by Korean and
Vietnamese versions in October. Kan is also planning to launch an
Indian doll in the near future. For now, the differences in these
dolls will lie in their costumes, but the company is currently
developing dolls with different facial features for different
When asked if she thinks Barbie's multicultural friends pose any
competition, Kan quickly dismisses the suggestion - "Barbie is too
busy being Barbie."