Counterfeit Hong Kong-brand mooncakes found in Shenzhen

September 18, 2015 09:57
The genuine mooncakes are closely imitated by the fakes, which are readily found in Longxi market in Shenzhen (right). Photos: Apple Daily

As the Moon Festival on Sept. 27 draws near, Hongkongers who buy mooncakes of well-known local brands or receive them as gifts need to be careful, because they might be imitations from the mainland, Apple Daily reported Friday.

At the Longxi market in Shenzhen’s Longgang district, reporters from the newspaper found hawkers still selling counterfeit mooncakes masquerading as products of Hong Kong's Maxim’s Group and Wing Wah Food Manufactory Ltd., despite a recent crackdown by local authorities.

The hawkers claim the mooncakes were imported from Hong Kong.

However, they cost as little as HK$100 (US$12.90) per box of four, about half the price of the genuine mooncakes in Hong Kong.

The counterfeits' packaging bears the correct QR codes, but it doesn't have the anti-fake codes that only the original products have.

Maxim’s said it is aware of such imitation products and reserves the right to pursue legal action.

It called on consumers to refrain from buying its mooncakes in grocery stores or at hawker stalls.

Hong Kong-made mooncakes are popular among mainland Chinese, who buy an estimated 20 billion yuan (US$3.14 billion) worth of them a year.

One reason counterfeits are rampant this year may be the official ban on mooncakes imported from Hong Kong that contain egg yolks, on the grounds of disease prevention.

The ban has resulted in a serious shortage of the genuine mooncakes in the mainland, leading to big price hikes, the report said.

On Taobao, the online shopping mall operated by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong-made mooncakes are much pricier than at retail stores in the city, some being offered at as much as HK$100 more per box.

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