The clearest sign that Jeremy Lin’s appeal has spanned the Pacific to mainland China may lie not in the 1.4 million Chinese microblog messages mentioning him in recent days, but in a rare failure to meet demand here in the heart of one of the world’s largest centers of pirated garment manufacturing.

“His jerseys have sold out, even including the counterfeit ones,” said Zheng Xiaojun, a 24-year-old clerk here in the capital of Zhejiang province, near Shanghai.

Lin’s stunning success with the Knicks over the last week and a half has captured the imagination of the Chinese, from Communist Party bosses to the often-persecuted Christian minority. He has been particularly popular here in northern Zhejiang province, from which his maternal grandmother fled to Taiwan in the last days of China’s civil war in the late 1940s.

Lin is commonly described in the United States as Taiwanese-American because his parents grew up in Taiwan before moving to the United States, where Lin was born. But mainland China is already starting to claim him as its own, part of an incessant rivalry across the Taiwan Strait.

Continue Reading on www.nytimes.com