Barbie blushes

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Over the years WiC has reported on several major frauds in China, but a recent case involving US toymaker Mattel has got local media pretty excited this month. It emerged after a company employee visited a police station in Wenzhou to report an attempt to scam the firm out of several million dollars, reports Apple Daily.

The swindler-cum-hacker had sent an email to Mattel’s US headquarters, posing as the company’s CEO Christopher Sinclair. The email stated that Mattel planned to buy a company in China and that $3.2 million needed to be sent immediately to an account at the Bank of Wenzhou. After the money was wired, Mattel executives realised their error. Luckily the funds didn’t get deposited because of the May Day bank holiday. After reporting the matter to the police, the Bank of Wenzhou later froze the said account, pending a further investigation by the authorities. Apple Daily points out this is not the first setback Mattel has faced in China. In 2009 it opened a flagship Barbie store in Shanghai at a cost of $30 million. It closed two years later after sales disappointed. The newspaper said Barbie’s sizeable breast-to-waist ratio put off many Chinese parents.

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