Political Prisoners of China Playing Cards - Box Art
Political Prisoners of China Playing Cards - Joker Xi JinpingPolitical Prisoners of China Playing Cards - Ace of SpadesPolitical Prisoners of China Playing Cards - King of SpadesPolitical Prisoners of China Playing Cards - Queen of SpadesPolitical Prisoners of China Playing Cards - Jack of SpadesPolitical Prisoners of China Playing Cards - 10 of Spades

Political Prisoners of China Playing Cards


As seen on Beijing Cream, Kotaku.com, and ShardsofChina! 



We are running a special June 4th sale. In remembrance of the June 4th incident, you can get a deck shipped for $6.40. Get it?

After reading the stories of Tan Zuoren and Liu Xiaobo, we decided there must be a way to memorialize the legacies of the brave individuals who are standing up for freedom in China. We embarked on an art project and found artists from around the world to create memorable designs featuring political prisoners in China. We decided to feature the artwork on a deck of playing cards because they are concise, portable, and an effective medium to introduce these peaceful dissidents to the world.   Please leave feedback and contact us with any questions. Message us directly for international orders. 

Please scroll down for more product details. 

If you'd like to purchase more than 10 decks, please contact us and we'll be happy to fulfill your order and apply additional discounts.  If you are a retailer or ecommerce website, please contact us for options.  If you are a non-profit, ask us about our sponsorship programs and how we can raise money for your organization.    

Product Description



Fully customized, rare, casino/professional quality, 305 dsm litho printed playing cards.

Manufactured in the U.S. by a company that supplies professional casino cards to several Las Vegas venues.

Customized box with plastic shrink wrap.

100% original artwork from 3 different designers around the world with amazing detail.

All the nuances of a professional deck ( one-eyed royals, suicide kings, etc).

Detailed messages and phrases incorporated into the face cards that reference the specific prisoners cause.

Includes 2 customized jokers, Ace of Spades, and 2-10s each featuring a unique prisoner.

13 political prisoners in total: Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng, Ni Yulan, Tan Zuoren, Shi Tao, and others.

Designed for playability: reciprocal images, no need to turn cards in your hand.

All peaceful dissidents.




Tan Zuoren ( Jacks): Tan Zouren is a hero. What makes him so special is he is an ordinary citizen, yet there is nothing ordinary about how he has changed the world. He gave a voice and memory to thousands of little kids who were killed in the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. He created an archive of the victims known as the 5/12/2008 Student Archive and posted it online because they were completely forgotten by the authorities. His crime is nothing more than petitioning his own government for answers about a terrible tragedy and requesting an investigation. He was detained in 2009 after publishing the preliminary results of his own investigation.

Ni Yulan ( Queens): In China, eminent domain is a ruthless process. Ni Yulan is a passionate human rights lawyer who represented those who were forced out onto the streets when China began demolishing and acquiring property in order to build for the 2008 Olympics. To make things worse, she was intimidated and severely beaten by police prior to her arrest resulting in her being confined to a wheelchair. Her official charge is “creating a disturbance” and she is incarcerated along with her husband.

Gao Zhisheng ( Kings): China is not a safe place to practice religion. Gao has taken upon himself to provide legal counsel to groups that are very unpopular with the regime, particularly the House Church Christians and Falun Gong adherents. He has exposed the torture of Falun Gong followers by the Chinese government and was sentenced for “inciting subversion of state power.” He is one of the great Weiquan lawyers. His law firm was closed by the government and he has been subjected to torture while in custody.

Ace of Spades:  Liu Xiaobo: Winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Liu is a signor and champion of the Charter 08, a manifesto signed by numerous Chinese human rights activists demanding reforms within the Chinese government. He was taken into custody prior to the release of Charter 08 and is currently serving a prison sentence.


2′s through 10′s

 2′s: Zhiwen Wang Imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong. Crime=practicing religion.

 3’s: Kong Youping Sentenced to a labor camp for pro-democracy blogging. Freelance writer. Crime= “subversion of state power”

4’s: Gulmira Imin Website administrator sentenced to prison for “splittism, leaking state secrets and organizing an illegal demonstration”

 5’s: Chen Xi  Veteran dissident, democracy and human rights activist.  Sentenced for “inciting subversion of state power” for essays written.

 6’s: Zhu Yufu  Writer and pro-democracy advocate. Accused of inciting people to subvert state power and slandering the country.

 7’s: Alimujiang Yimiti  Uyghur church leader accused of “inciting separatism” and “leaking state secrets”.

 8’s: Chen Wei Democracy advocate imprisoned several times. Crimes include “inciting subversion of state power”, participating in the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations, and spreading “counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement.

9’s: Hada - Advocate for self determination and democracy. Tibetan Buddhist. Former chairman of the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance. Crimes include “splittism” and “espionage.” Hada has been imprisoned since 1996 despite the fact that his sentence officially expired in 2010.

 10s: Shi Tao Journalist and poet sentenced to 10 years in 2005 for disclosing state secrets to foreigners. Yahoo! China provided information to the Chinese Government that led to his arrest. Yahoo was later rebuked by the U.S. Congress and settled out of court with Shi’s family.


Hu Jintao: Former President of the People’s Republic of China. Under his rule, the internal security budget has exceeded the military budget. He is a technocratic ruler who has done little to reform China.

 Xi Jinping: What will Xi do next? He has the chance to be the most influential person in history if he can reform China so that the talents, dreams, and voices of the citizens can finally be heard.

4.67 out of 5

6 reviews for Political Prisoners of China Playing Cards

  1. 5 out of 5


    What a great idea! These are professional quality playing cards that also happen to carry a message: Don’t be fooled. The People’s Republic of China is ruled by an oppressive regime that has no respect for basic human rights or dignity. These cards are in concept a genuinely innovative mix of political satire and whimsy. I’d buy a set just to enrage the Chinese Politburo.

  2. 5 out of 5


    Bought a pack and had to open them to see what they looked like. Excellent quality, illustrations, and idea. Wish I would have kept them in original packaging. Can’t wait to collect all the sets and am looking forward to the next country!

  3. 4 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    High quality and informative cards, and they play great, too! It’d be nice if there had been a list of the dissidents explaining their “crimes,” but I can always wait for the next edition. Exceptionally classy art on the face cards and Jokers, as well!

  4. 4 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Pro’s of this product: Unique, funny, professional quality
    Con’s: Do not know all the dissidents, am unsure if I should risk carrying these back into China

    These cards make for a good holiday gift for someone interested in China or human rights. It carries the exact attitude that is needed to defeat an oppressive regime: that is, to make a joke out of the authoritarians. A bit of an explanation would be good, whether on a separate card within the deck or in epitaph form (i.e. The Joker, Hu Jintao “Keeping Human Rights a Joke in China since 2002″). Also, Xu Zhiyong is obviously missing, but I suspect that he’ll crop up in the next deck. And finally, is there any way to print these cards on slightly thicker, rougher pieces? Holding this deck in one hand and the typical Bicycle deck in another, the Bicycle deck is subtly thicker and/or rougher, so that it doesn’t slide off the fingers so easily. Just a thought.

    Great product! I bought 6 packs.

  5. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Cool idea and great awareness tool. I keep 1 set at home and 1 set at work. I look forward to speaking about them with guests and visitors. ;-)

  6. 5 out of 5


    I was really impressed with not only the quality of the card but also the attention to detail. You can tell whoever came up with this idea is passionate about it. It was interesting to look up everyone who was featured on the cards. I look forward to the next batch.

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