Only quality local goods can kill fakes

Only quality local goods can kill fakes
Dairy products at a supermarket in Xuchang, Henan province. The government's stricter permit requirements, which are expected to keep up to one-third of domestic infant formula producers from manufacturing, is driving up competition between local and foreign dairy brands.

Counterfeit products can still make it to Chinese markets by playing on words, mostly clumsy reworking of famous brand names or logos, or "creative" renaming, that is, labeling 100 per cent "made-and created-in-China" goods as foreign products.

As a recent China Central Television report said, building material companies such as "Noble Tiles" and "Marco Polo Tiles" are all Chinese entities, dairy products of "Biostime France" and "Yashily Group" are sold only in China, fashion brands such as Jack &Jones and Selected, which nominally belong to "Danish" distributor Bestseller, are nowhere to be found in Europe.

Worse, nearly 2 million bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild are reportedly consumed in China every year, say industry insiders, when the French winemaker produces only about 200,000 bottles a year. In other words, most of the Lafite wine sold in China is fake.

By crowning their products with some exotic names, companies such as "Noble Tiles" intend to attract Chinese consumers who are obsessed with imported brands.

Given the increasing brand awareness in China, domestic consumers tend to favour time-tested brands and products from developed countries such as the United States and Germany.

And to exploit this "foreign-brand obsession" of domestic consumers, many Chinese companies have assumed and/or given their products seemingly exotic names.

Since blatant copying of foreign brand names, logos or products would be an infringement of intellectual property and/or copyright laws and thus draw heavy fines, such companies either use the names of some foreign celebrities or places as their brands, or register a self-designed trademark under an English or other foreign name to deceive customers into believing they are buying products made by foreign companies.

This shows that quite a few Chinese people don't have much faith in domestic products even if they are as good as the foreign ones. Otherwise, how could such companies survive?

This also shows that, despite its rise as an economic power, China has somewhat failed to offer genuine quality products to its people.

Although many Chinese products, including counterfeits, are of substandard quality, the ploys used by the "fake foreign" companies help them make decent profits without even trying to make quality products.

And since some Chinese enterprises lack the confidence to take on foreign brands, they turn to imitate them instead.

Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that neither Chinese producers nor consumers are confident of their positions despite the success of several Chinese brands in overseas markets.

Home-appliance makers Haier Group and Gree Electric Appliances, telecom multinational Huawei and information technology giant Lenovo are the best examples of Chinese brands reaping rich harvests in the overseas markets.

Therefore, Chinese manufacturers should start making more quality and reliable products to compete with their foreign rivals.

And Chinese consumers, like most people in the Republic of Korea, should start supporting domestic brands and products.

Once such change is evident, counterfeits and substandard products will have little room in the market.

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