Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ripped Off

Last week, Hannah Wood wrote about Bucksstar for; in just days, the story has gone from blogland to National Public Radio:

China has confirmed itself as the “king of counterfeiters” with the building of a new shopping centre dedicated to fake brands. Some of the brand impostors at the mall in Nanjing, east of Shanghai, include a McDonalds look-a-like burger bar called McDnoald’s, a Starbucks-style coffee shop called Bucksstar Coffee, and a wannabe Pizza Hut called Pizza Huh. City bosses are under pressure to ban the soon-to-be opened mall after pictures of the fake stores were leaked, causing uproar amongst angry consumers who feared they'd be ripped off.

As popular as the story’s been, I haven’t seen anyone comment on the unfortunate first sentence. China doesn’t have to confirm its inability or unwillingness to clamp down on brand counterfeiters. Knocking off national and international brands has been going on for decades in China. Some days, brand thievery seems like the national business model.

It’s not always easy to find photographs: Google “Fake Brands in China” for yourself and you’ll see links…but not so many photographs of offending rip-offs like
Mak Dak.

If the Nanjing shopping center is doing this as a parody or homage, then the owners will be paying royalties to Starbucks, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s for the privilege.

Don’t hold your breath.

BTW, each of the US brand names in this post is protected by one or more trademarks. All rights reserved.

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