Chinese Online Sellers Hawk Shirts With Russian Pro-War ‘Z’ Logo

  • Sellers on Taobao, a Chinese marketplace akin to Amazon, are selling shirts with the pro-Russia “Z.”
  • Insider saw at least four listings for the shirt, one of which had clocked over 100 sales.
  • Some of the listings came with glowing reviews from customers who appreciated the shirt’s “meaning.”

Sellers on the online marketplace Taobao, known as China’s version of Amazon, are hawking t-shirts emblazoned with the Russian pro-war “Z” logo. 

Insider saw at least four “Z”-related listings on the platform on Wednesday evening, local time. One of the sellers listed the shirts for around $14 and had recorded sales of more than 100 shirts. 

The Taobao listing labeled the shirts as “Foreign creative shirts for military fans — Z is for victory.” The shirts, which come in three sizes, had the large white Z emblazoned across the front.  

A screengrab of a listing of "Z" shirts on Chinese online marketplace Alibaba

The shirts on Taobao are being sold for 88 Chinese Yuan, close to $14. At press time, both the L and XL sizes for the black version of the shirt were out of stock.

Taobao/Screengrab


Stylized in a thick brushstroke, the “Z” symbol was first spotted on February 22 on the sides of Russian military vehicles rolling into Ukraine’s Donetsk region. It was quickly co-opted by the far-right and has evolved into a pro-war symbol for Russia and a rallying insignia for Putin’s supporters. 

The reviews on the shirt on Taobao appeared to express a general sentiment of support for Russia’s victory in the war in Ukraine. They were also clearly in demand, with the large and extra-large sizes of the shirt’s black version already sold out. 

“Just received this product. Not bad cotton. As for the meaning of the design, I believe everyone who buys this knows what it really means,” read one review. 

“For victory!” read the review of another satisfied customer, who gave the shirt a five-star rating. Insider did not find pro-Ukraine apparel on Taobao.   

However, searches on other retail sites like Etsy surfaced listings expressing support for Ukraine. One Etsy shop, for example, is currently selling a shirt with a large red slash across a white “Z,” with the listing containing the terms “I stand with Ukraine” and “Letter Z Stop Russia.” 

Representatives for Alibaba Group, Taobao’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. 

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