China has granted preliminary approval for 38 trademarks linked to Donald Trump, documents on China's state trademark office show, giving the U.S. President and his family protection were they to develop the "Trump" brand in the market.
The trademarks - which in theory cover a wide sweep of businesses from hotels to mobile libraries and escorts - underline the complexities and potential concerns over conflicts of interest facing President Trump, who has a sprawling business empire using the Trump name around the world.
Trump, a wealthy real estate developer, has previously said he has handed over his business interests to a trust overseen by one of his sons and a Trump Organization executive. He can, however, revoke the trust at will and, as its sole beneficiary, remains linked to it financially.
The trademarks, which Trump's lawyers applied for in April last year, are mostly registered to "Donald J. Trump" and listed to the address of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York.
They were given preliminary approval in two lists published on the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce on Feb. 27 and Monday.
Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, said in a statement the group had been actively enforcing its intellectual property rights in China for over a decade.
"The latest registrations are a natural result of those long-standing, diligent efforts, and any suggestion to the contrary demonstrates a complete disregard of the facts as well as a lack of understanding of international trademark law."
The new trademark approvals were mostly variations in English and Chinese on the name "Donald Trump".
They list business areas including branded spas, massage parlors, golf clubs, hotels, insurance, finance and real estate companies, retail shops, restaurants, bars, bodyguards and escort services.
However, intellectual property lawyers said trademark applications were often very broad to give the applicant the most comprehensive protection for their brand.
Three of them, related to hotel brand Scion that Trump's sons want to expand in the United States, are not directly registered in the President's name but via DTTM Operations LLC. The three are also listed to the Trump Tower address.