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Seattle customer says Amazon allows anti-Asian language in product listings

Some products sold by third parties, using Amazon's platform, are described as "non-China" and "China-free." Another listing touts a "funny, Oriental" hat.

SEATTLE — An Amazon customer is calling out the company for allowing language that she said promotes anti-Asian attitudes.

Alison Wong, of Seattle, said she was recently shopping for nutritional supplements on Amazon and was startled to find products with descriptions like “China-Free” and “Non-China.”

“That kind of language sets a precedent to normalize anti-Asian rhetoric,” said Wong, who is Japanese and Black.

The goods are sold by third parties using Amazon's platform.

Elsewhere on the site, shoppers can find a third-party listing for what is described as a "funny, Oriental" hat that is "fantastic as a costume accessory with a long Vietnamese or Thai traditional dress” or a “decoration for a theme party.”

“My culture is not for fun or for play,” said Wong. “Those are really traditional things from our communities, and I think the way those are marketed is irresponsible.”

Wong said she notified Amazon customer service about her concerns, but she has not heard back from the company.

KING 5 reached out to Amazon, as well as the sellers of the products, but they did not respond as of April 8.

On its website for third-party sellers, Amazon said it does not allow the sale of "offensive" products.

“They're absolutely responsible for the content that their sellers are posting in their marketplace,” said Wong. “Ultimately, it's their platform.”

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