With “1989” merchandise, Taylor Swift unknowingly becomes a critic of the Chinese government

Does Taylor Swift need to be sent away for re-education on core socialist principles?

The pop star recently announced she would launch a clothing and merchandise line just for her fans in China, in advance of her November tour of the country. Most of the clothing touted in a promotional video is relatively inoffensive, save for one minor detail.

Several of the T-shirts prominently feature the date “1989”—the name of Swift’s album and her tour. It’s also a term that most...

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