Date
24 August 2016
Replica luxury watches, shown here on a Facebook page, are so polished they're indistinguishable from the genuine articles. Photos: Facebook
Replica luxury watches, shown here on a Facebook page, are so polished they're indistinguishable from the genuine articles. Photos: Facebook

Replica watch sellers invade social media

Counterfeiters are increasingly using social media to sell fake luxury watches including replicas of Rolex and Cartier.

They have their own websites where they offer a small number of knock-offs before completing the transaction offline to avoid detection, am730 reported Friday.

The high-quality replicas are nearly indistinguishable from the genuine articles, the report said, citing experts.

A Facebook page set up in 2009 has been touting Rolex, Panerai, Cartier and Breitling watches, as well as other well-known brands, for HK$2,000 (US$258) to HK$5,000 each.

Genuine brands fetch tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands.

The page asks buyers to reserve their chosen product at least three days in advance. They can also pre-order via WhatsApp and WeChat.

Barrister Albert Luk said replicas infringe the rights of brand owners.

Their production and sale contravene the Trade Descriptions Ordinance which prescribes imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to HK$500,000, he said.

Also, offenders who use the internet could be prosecuted for illegal computer access with criminal or dishonest intent.

Even if the goods are advertised as replicas, perpetrators are not exempt from criminal liability, he said.

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