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LAST WORDS: China's Knockoff Brand Market
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China's Knockoff Brand Market
By Demi Guo

005 image中国假货市场



900 abidasYou went shopping in China and just got a good bargain on the bag as shown in the picture above. You are so excited about using your brand new “Adidas” bag and it turns out to be an “abcids” bag! You may also have a similar experience when you find a “Gucci” purse in a small street store at only one tenth of the original price. What’s more surprising is that the store owner will tell that it’s fake “Gucci” but still have the same quality. These are two examples of typical knockoffs in China - while one is with a simulated logo or name that may confuse customers, the other one is fully modeling on authentic production.

Many years ago, as China was slowly opening up to the rest of the world, different kinds of imported products with better quality or better brands got popular because not only do they provide better quality, but also make people feel better about themselves. Some people found it’s so easy to make money by modeling and selling counterfeit and shoddy products using people's vanity and lack of judgment on new things. Since then, illegal business has begun to flood. Because of the low labor cost, cheap raw material and simple craftsmanship, there was a huge gap between knockoff cost and the authentic original price. Therefore more people joined to split the profit and gradually grew in form of a multi-level agent.

002Gradually, people found that they were cheated by illegal businessmen and began to build awareness. One Chinese word called “Shan Zhai(山寨)” was widely used to describe fakes. “Shan Zhai” which means cottage in English, is originally a proverb from Hong Kong Cantonese. When the Hong Kong economy took off in the 1970s, the poor lived in huts, and many people set up family-run workshops in the huts to make some light industrial products. Most of these simple wooden houses were built on hillsides. At that time, the Hong Kong people dubbed these workshops as "cottage factories." The products they produced were also referred to by the people of Hong Kong as "cottage goods." The term "cottage" in Cantonese also means "unregular" or "unorthodox".

The Chinese government has begun to strengthen market management and expand the administrative law enforcement team. Every year, on March 15th - International Consumer Rights Day, CCTV will launch a special 315 Show, pushing this day to a climax, and the businessmen are frightened and hope that they would not be on the list. Although every year 315 can also investigate a large number of counterfeit and shoddy products, as a government act, administrative law enforcement is difficult to meet the needs of enterprises and markets in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. To this end, Chinese companies and brands have also begun to organize their own team to carry out anti-counterfeiting rights, such as Maotai. Corporate rights protection is mainly carried out through judicial means.

003 m1vr4gbqrx711In China, repeated counterfeit and shoddy products not only give Chinese people a headache, but have also plagued the development of various brands for a long time. With the deepening of the market economy, there are a number of institutions and individuals in society that have helped maintain market and brand development with rich experience and a sound network. Through market-oriented and large-scale operation, they have explored an effective path for enterprises to defend their rights.

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