9 January 2019Trademarks

Shanghai police swoop on Dyson hair dryer counterfeiters

Thirty six people who mass-produced counterfeit products of British brand Dyson have been arrested by police in Shanghai, China.

On Friday, January 4, Shanghai police said they had raided two production sites on December 14, 2018 in Huizhou, Guangdong, where they arrested the suspects on suspicion of counterfeiting a registered trademark.

The police recovered approximately 400 finished products, 1,500 semi-finished goods and 200,000 spare parts. The counterfeit products were described as being “almost identical” to the originals, and had been sold on major e-commerce websites.

Police were first notified in August 2018 when consumers complained after buying the counterfeit hair dryers online.

The force then tracked the group’s activity from purchasing, production, storage and lastly to retail. It said the group purchased real Dyson products and dissected them into parts.

The products were priced at 50 to 90% of the market price of a real Dyson hair dryer, which typically costs around RMB3,000 ($439). They had a cost price of RMB120 ($17).

In 2018, the group made RMB10 million ($1.46 million) from the sale of the goods, the police said.

Shanghai police officer, Yu Songbin, said the suspects had originally set up a company in Huizhou in early 2018 to produce hair dryers for their own brand that looked like Dyson’s. But, after sales were poor, the group decided to make counterfeit Dyson products instead.

The counterfeit hair dryers were found to be not only harmful to hair, but also a serious fire risk.

“The knock-offs are slightly different from the real products in material quality and colour, but are obviously different in the working mechanism, air volume and sound after the machines are turned on,” Yu said in a statement to South China Morning Post.

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