Shamelessly, China has dubbed itself as “the king of counterfeiters” and the city of Nanjing, east of Shanghai, prides itself on the imminent grand opening of a new shopping centre dedicated to some 58 fake brands of merchandise. These imposters bear strong resemblances to their original inspirations, but are often differentiated by an intentionally mis-spelled letter or two.
Some of the brand impostors featured at this mall include: a McDonalds look-a-like burger bar called McDnoald’s, a Starbucks-style coffee shop called Bucksstar Coffee, Panosaonic electronic products, Gillehe shaving supplies, Pmua sneakers, Adadas sportswear, and a wannabe Pizza Hut called Pizza Huh.
Counterfeit goods have been the bane of the world trade industry for decades, and China, while a blatant culprit, is far from the only one. The dynamics of the infringement varies from breaches of product patents in industrial and technical products to illegal reproductions of copyright entertainment material to fake luxury brands.
According to official estimates, counterfeit products account for 15%-20% of all the products made in China. While the crime covers a vast range of both industrial and consumer products, counterfeit pharmaceuticals are produced at very high levels within the world pharmaceutical trade and the level is higher than even the highest estimate of 25% in China alone.
Pictures of the fake stores leaked to the press, and angry consumers have been exerting pressure on the city bosses to ban the soon-to-be opened mall. In the recent past, China has cracked down on fake brands by closing down business retailers in order to build a better positive image to the outside world.
To stem the tide of this insatiable phenomenon is like trying to plug up a giant waterfall with a piece of gum. The truth is that fake brands are flourishing in China, feeding with frenzy upon its cheap available labor force.
While many shoppers may feel that the people who walk into these stores think they are getting the real thing, there are others who claim that these counterfeits are non-deceptive and that the consumer knows they are buying an imitation of a famous original brand.
No matter how you cut it, producing and selling fake brands is still dishonest and the original creator of the product is the loser.
This controversial new “fake mall” may be the first of its kind, but copycats are and always have been everywhere.
The difference is that these bogus products are no longer being peddled from suitcases and market stalls on crowded back streets.
Now you can walk to the new mall wearing your fake pmua sneakers, stopping for a bit after checking the time on your fake Rollex to sip on your Bucksstar coffee and have a fake hamburger at a nearby McDnold’s.
Then you can go home and pop a fake valyum to rid yourself of any guilt you might have about your illicit purchase.