China insists Ivanka's trademark grants were just a coincidence

Sales hit record levels in 2017.

Trump still owns her brand, but stepped back from management and has pledged to avoid conflict.

Painter and others have sued President Trump over his business conflicts.

The clothing company isn't Ivanka Trump's only asset to raise ethical questions.

Since President Donald Trump was elected to office, many have voiced concern that the links between his organization and his status as leader of the free world are suspiciously murky, creating opportunity for severe ethics violations.

September 29, 2016: Her company announces two new licensing agreements, for affordable fashion jewelry and baby accessories.

Prime Minister Theresa May called Trump to talk about her plans to call an election, the second phone conversation between the two in 10 days. In March sales on Lyst were up 262 percent over the same period a year ago. Her jewelry company emails a "style alert" to reporters noting that she wore one of her "favorite" bangles, a $10,800 bracelet from her own collection, on the show. Ensuing criticism prompts the brand to apologize.

December 4, 2016: The New York Times reports that Ivanka Trump sat in on a meeting with her father and the prime minister of Japan, as her company negotiated a licensing deal with a firm the Japanese government owned a large stake in.

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Ethics experts say Ivanka Trump should stay away from the hotel while she works in government.

Painter also begged Ivanka to "put the business on hold and stop trying to get trademarks while in government".

Any special treatment from China would mean that Trump effectively accepted a present from Beijing, an act that would violate the Constitution, Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, said in an email. Sales spiked 771 percent in February over the same month a year ago. The White House later "counseled" Conway for inappropriately promoting the brand.

February 13, 2017: Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House.

The Associated Press reported that since Trump took office on January 20, Ivanka Trump's Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has won provisional approval from China for at least five new trademarks, adding to 16 already registered and more than 30 pending applications. The AP reports that, to date, "Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has 16 registered trademarks in China and more than 30 pending applications, along with at least five marks granted preliminary approval since the inauguration, according to China's Trademark Office database and gazette".

March 1, 2017: Ivanka Trump Marks LLC applies for another new trademark in the Philippines, covering clothes and shoes.

Trademarks can be signs of corporate ambition, though many countries - such as China, where "trademark squatting" is rampant - also allow for defensive filings to prevent copycats from using a brand. Some argue that the more Ivanka Trump's business broadens its scope, the more it threatens to encroach on the couple's ability to deliver credible advice on core issues like trade, intellectual property and the value of the Chinese currency.

Demonstrating to all the world that women really are awesome multitaskers, first daughter Ivanka Trump was able to dine with Chinese President Xi Jinping and see her company win provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks on the very same day.

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