20 July 2020Muireann Bolger

Chinese investigation seizes $242m in fake products

Shanghai police have uncovered counterfeit goods valued at more then than RMB 1.7bn yuan (US$242m), and exposed 240 criminal counterfeiting dens this year during a major crackdown on IP violations in the country.

According to  a report by Asia Times, Shanghai police claim have solved more than 230 cases, involving the counterfeits of more than 60 brands, during the course of  its “Kunlan 2020” operation.

As part of the investigation, the police last week arrested nine suspects for allegedly producing and selling more than  60,000 fake items. The haul included counterfeits of Chanel and Victoria’s Secret products, the authentic counterparts of which are estimated to be worth more than 50m yuan ($7.1m).

The gang allegedly produced and stored the products in seven locations throughout the Guangdong province.

China is still considered  the world’s biggest source of counterfeit goods, and has been identified by the  European Commission as the country with the most “persistent and longstanding problems” in relation to IP protection and enforcement in its “ Report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries”.

China’s government has tried to tackle its thriving counterfeiting industry by introducing its first  ecommerce law last year , which aims to clamp down on fakes by imposing larger penalties and placing the onus on digital platforms to remove copycat merchandise from sites.

In 2017, authorities found 240,000 vendors selling fake goods on ecommerce platform  Taobao, owned by Chinese technology company   Alibaba,  while another,  Pinduoduo, was forced to remove more than 10 million fake items from its site, according to a  report by the Financial Times.

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