Luohu Commercial City, a shopping mall in Shenzhen known for selling counterfeit products, has informed its tenants to “conduct business lawfully” shortly before the arrival of an intellectual property inspection team from the US House of Representatives, Ming Pao Daily reported on Thursday.
Tenants were asked not to display products with US brands, including handbags, clothes and accessories. Some shops opted to close for the day to avoid inspection, while others covered their shop signs with newspaper.
He Shengan, head of the shopping center’s management office, said he was told the inspection team would pay a secret visit to the shopping arcade and the neighboring Dafen Village, where a large number of oil painting replicas are produced. Tenants were alerted.
He said the number of shops selling leather goods and watches at the shopping center has dropped by more than 10 percent in recent years, and most of the stores are now selling household products.
Commenting on a recent police crackdown on the shopping mall, in which eight stores were found to be selling knockoffs, he said it was a vast improvement, considering the center has more than 1,000 tenants.
NBA superstar Ray Allen was caught on camera last month shopping at the Luohu Commercial City.
On July 29, Shenzhen authorities seized 2,236 counterfeit Chanel, Prada, Hermes and miu miu handbags and wallets, as well as 464 pieces of fake Panerai, Rolex, Mont Blanc, Seiko and Piaget watches from three shops at the mall.
Sources from the local police said stores selling counterfeit goods have gone low profile following the crackdown, with many shopkeepers only showing photos of their fake products to prospective buyers. The goods are taken from the warehouse if a customer decides to buy.
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