Date
19 January 2017
An unreasonably wide range of offer prices for this music box is a giveaway that some of them are most likely cheap knockoffs. Photo: Taobao
An unreasonably wide range of offer prices for this music box is a giveaway that some of them are most likely cheap knockoffs. Photo: Taobao

A deluge of fake products in China: Can’t blame makers alone

I’ve recently watched a Chinese drama called Divorce Lawyers.

In one of the episodes, the ex-wife of lawyer Chi suspects him of having a romantic relationship with her divorce lawyer.

The jealous ex-wife goes to the flat of this lawyer surnamed Luo and messes it up quite thoroughly.

Chi, out of goodwill, offers to compensate for Luo’s loss and buy her a whole new set of furniture.

Luo wants a bed costing 38,000 yuan (US$5,870). Chi then calls up a friend, who refers him to a furniture maker, who promises to make the same kind of bed for less than 1,000 yuan.

Although this is fiction, it reflects to a certain extent the popularity of counterfeit products in China. There is supply because there is demand.

Luxury handbag knockoffs have always been a headache for top foreign brands.

What infuriates brand owners is not just the large number of shady makers who can churn out products that look almost authentic, but also the countless customers who are eager to buy them.

Some cannot afford the real thing, while others say they settle for a fake one because fashion changes quickly, and there’s no point in spending so much on an original.

I was looking for a gift the other day and found a London bell music box by a Taiwan brand.

When I launched a search for the price, a Taobao page sprung up immediately, giving me at least 32 options, with price tags ranging from over 600 yuan to under 200 yuan.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that some of them are likely to be fake.

The proliferation of fake items is simply part of the mainland culture fostered by both consumers and manufacturers.

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CG

EJ Insight writer

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