The Chairman Bao Truck Responds to Eddie Huang
A bao by any other name ...
Earlier today, Eddie Huang told us about his supreme displeasure regarding the Chairman Bao Truck, a new steamed bun truck in San Francisco that has appropriated both the look of Shepard Fairey and the name of the signature bun Huang serves at Baohaus. We reached out to the owners of the truck, a company called Mobi Munch, and got a call back from its publicist.
"It definitely was not expected," says Mobi Munch's rep, Jane Yuan, of Huang's reaction to the truck's name. "We had no idea that we would get that kind of reaction -- everyone else has been positive. We were all shocked."
Yuan claims that no one at Mobi had heard of Baohaus or the Chairman Bao. "As far as the whole research and development of the name, our legal [team] has cleared everything," she says. "We're not trying to damage Eddie in any way. I understand he's built up a following, but we're in a whole other market. The name, it's a common play on the word, so I think for him to claim it as his own -- he can try, but I think it's going to be hard.
"We're not trying to disrespect him in any way," Yuan insists, adding that the company "will be open to discussing" the issue. Would they consider changing the name? "I think at the moment it's too early to determine [that]," she says, noting that the truck isn't even open for business yet.
"The play on the name is -- it's not like, it's a name, I don't know," Yuan offers, adding that it was determined as part of "a larger process" rather than by one person. She doesn't know whether Mobi co-founder Josh Tang has ever visited Baohaus.
We don't know either, but we do know, official protestations notwithstanding, that something doesn't taste quite right.
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