Design studio takes down 'S$1,000 note' ang bao because reproduction of currency not allowed

No more purple ang baos anymore :(

Karen Lui | January 29, 2021, 03:36 PM

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On Jan. 28, local design studio wheniwasfour announced its latest product for Chinese New Year, the Big Boss Red Packet.

Designed to look like a S$1,000 note with a currency strap, the red packet had garnered a lot of buzz.

Sold out online within 6 hours of its launch, wheniwasfour initially planned to restock the product.

However, the product will no longer be available for sale.

Product taken down

On Jan. 29, wheniwasfour informed Mothership that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had contacted them to take down the product as no part of the Singapore currency should be reproduced.

The product has also been taken down from wheniwasfour's website, along with the social media posts on Facebook and Instagram.

When asked about how they feel about the product being taken down, wheniwasfour replied,

"Definitely feel sad as we just want to share these simple happiness through our designs with everyone. We feel so happy when we see our customers's laughter and joy in their faces after seeing the Big Boss Red Packet, as much as we break out in laughter ourselves looking at it. But again the law is the law and we must abide in them. We are also thankful that MAS got in touch with us first without making a police report as they said they would do if anyone do not comply."

As for current orders that are unable to be fulfilled, wheniwasfour said,

"Everyone who made the order which we have not already mailed out, we will cancel their orders and make a refund...Our restocks will not be made available for sale."

Reproduction of currency images

According to MAS, reproduction of Singapore currency images does not require permission from the agency, provided the conditions set out below are met:

(a) advertisement or publication for educational purposes or in connection with any news or factual article or report

(b) illustration on any machine that is designed to receive currency notes or coins for its operation, with the purpose of explaining the kind of currency that is accepted by the machine and how the currency note or coin is to be inserted.

Approval from MAS is required for any import or manufacturing of merchandise or products containing a photograph, drawing or design of a Singapore currency note or coin.

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Top images via wheniwasfour and MAS.