Tags: China | Fakes | Forgeries

China Inundates With Fakes, Forgeries

Monday, 27 October 2014 01:04 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It’s a counterculture so audacious and wide in scope it’s amazing that it exists at all.

But China is the world’s forgery capital because its officials encourage it to thrive.

It’s widely reported that China makes more imitation products than all other countries combined. Counterfeiting is allowed because it boosts the Chinese economy, gives work to millions of otherwise unemployed people, and holds down civil unrest.

The Chinese are experts at replicating almost anything, including cars, trucks, art, jewelry, CDs, films, designer clothing, accessories, silver and gold coins — and bullion, as well as antiquities, fossils, computer software, toys, sporting goods, batteries, pet food, medicine, historical monuments, and even whole towns.

Counterfeiting has become the most profitable criminal activity, thus the Chinese do not care if their practices cost companies, individuals, and countries billions of dollars in losses. Unless other countries act through harsh sanctions and import restrictions the problem is sure to increase.

And it’s a problem that has taken the art world by storm.

For decades Chinese forgeries have flooded the market, but recently 73-year old Pei-Shen Qian — a Chinese citizen — was identified in America as the forger of over $80 million worth of Modernist paintings, including works by Rothko, Motherwell, Pollock, and DeKooning.

After having tricked the experts, Qian fled the country and is at large.

No one knows how many paintings he forged.

Some of the biggest names in fine automobiles are slapped on vehicles that have nothing to do with the names they bear.

Do you want to own a Ferrari? No problem.

China sells counterfeit Ferraris for 1/20 the original price.

They also knock off Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mazda, Lamborghini, Mercedes, BMW, Jeep, Lexus, Cadillac, Mini Cooper, Toyota, and Honda automobiles and limos for a fraction of their original prices.

If you’re hard pressed to buy authentic jewels, sunglasses, handbags, luggage or other items made by Tiffany, Gucci, Fendi, Cartier, Bulgari, Hermès, or Louis Vitton, you can buy remarkably well-made fakes for 10 percent of their original prices in China, stores worldwide or on the Internet.

Fakes are flooding the marketplace, and many retailers can’t tell the difference between a genuine or forged product. That is problematic, because many consumers pay top dollar for authentic merchandise but are being sold copies.

However, for pennies on the dollar millions of people knowingly buy counterfeit electronic devices, Callaway golf clubs, Kodak film, Gillette razors, bicycles, boats, motorcycles, computers and computer chips, cellphones, liquor, cigarettes, musical instruments, movies, and thousands of other products.

China produces millions of counterfeit charge cards and personal IDs creating a critical security risk for countries and companies worldwide. The IDs are so authentic looking that they easily trick airlines, border patrols and law enforcement officers. They not only pose a serious threat to national security, charges made on the bogus cards will never be paid, thus companies lose millions of dollars yearly.

Many of its factories, malls, and towns have been built specifically to produce and sell fake goods. The Chinese don’t care if they swindle or harm consumers by selling them counterfeit products. Their only concern is earning billions of dollars in profit.

China ignores international laws regarding intellectual property and considers it entrepreneurial to copy and usurp or change copyrights, trademarks and patents. They have stolen and copied computer software and high technology products and have recreated prehistoric fossils and even an entire Disneyland park.

Nothing is off limits for Chinese fakers.

The Chinese steal new and old products, ideas and technology from governments, companies and entrepreneurs. They ignore copyrights and laws that are supposed to protect inventors and copyright owners. With a few changes made to a company’s logo, it steals company identities and opens hundreds of stores that imitate McDonalds, KFC, Dunkin Doughnuts, Gucci, Apple, Walmart, Target, and hundreds more.

One article, “Top 5 Fake Stores Found in China,” on the product news site GizChina.com, says China is copying many of the United States’ most popular brands.

In an attempt to get people to move to the suburbs, the Chinese have even built huge apartment complexes around replicas of European and American buildings, landmarks and towns, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. 

Patricia Jobe Pierce is a freelance writer, art historian, art dealer-consultant, certified AAA appraiser, public speaker, photographer and American art authenticator for museums, auction houses and collectors. She graduated from Boston University with a BFA in 1965, is owner and director of Pierce Galleries, Inc. in Nantucket and Hingham, Mass., and is author of many works, including, "Art Collecting & Investing: The Inner Workings and the Underbelly of the Art World." For more of her submissions, Click Here Now.


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It’s widely reported that China makes more imitation products than all other countries combined.
China, Fakes, Forgeries
Monday, 27 October 2014 01:04 PM
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