Counterfeit luxury goods are big business in China, and cracking down on copycats can be difficult for brands. Yes, you should do the obvious things like registering your trademark before you enter the Chinese market, and hire a good, local lawyer. But you can also take more aggressive steps, like opening your own Chinese ecommerce site to cut out middle men, and use technology like RFID tags to track your products as they move from factory to consumer. Updating your products regularly — even monthly — can also keep counterfeiters off guard, as can advertising goods that are actually slightly different from your real products.
In China, everybody knows that Putien is the “city of fakes”. VICE News met up with Chan, a local vendor, with a knack for getting high-quality pairs off the streets and into the hands of hypebeasts on the other side of the globe, at his headquarters to see how his business is racing ahead.
Despite spending a fortune on legal fees and distribution controls, luxury goods companies struggle to combat counterfeiting. But the success of counterfeiting is rooted in strategic decisions made by luxury firms to outsource manufacturing, emphasize the logo, and raise prices.
The sale of counterfeit goods is a multi-billion dollar industry that can have negative impacts on consumers and fuel criminal organizations. In 2020, U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over 26,000 counterfeit goods shipments.
Seizures of counterfeit products at U.S. borders have increased 10-fold over the past two decades as e-commerce sales have boomed. The total value of seized goods – if they had been real – reached nearly $1.4 billion in 2018. Most are coming from mainland China or Hong Kong.
A new study has found that counterfeiters are increasingly targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), which tend to be more vulnerable than large companies.