Counterfeit products: they bring mixed feelings to many global consumers. Some may fear this word as buying a counterfeit or “fake” item may mean being ripped off. While on the other side of the spectrum people go in search for fakes, for example: Turkey’s famous fake Rolex and Louis Vuitton markets can save consumers a pocketful of money if they buy a convincing fake.
To the faux Chanel shirts and Gucci bags, counterfeit products can be found everywhere in China They can be found in virtually every street market and supermarket. Some of these fakes you don’t want as they can be a far cry to the original thing. When in China, it’s always a good idea that when buying an expensive item to completely verify if an item is genuine, otherwise, you may find it not worth its price. Even if it looks like you’re in a reputable store.
But also Chinese counterfeit products can be miniscule. Everyday items that can be found in a supermarket. China’s lax copyright and patent laws has a lot to do with this reason. Anywhere you go, I guarantee you’ll find an item ripping something off. Some can be tacky enough to be downright humorous.
In this post I’ve included three of the most common Chinese counterfeit products you’ll come across in this country. Some of these are obvious, others are not so. Either way, have a look and see if you can spot the difference.
Every Day Chinese Counterfeit Products
- Red Bull
“It gives you wings!!!” It’s easy to spot this one. Red Bull is more known for its blue and chrome can colour than this bronze can found in any Chinese convenience store. For those die hard Red Bull fans, sorry, this drink is nothing like the original. It’s a flat, highly sugary tasting drink that seems to have none of the advanced additives like Taurine inside. Its so weak you could use it to feed butterflies. I never see any Chinese drinking this but it does have its own commercial on television. I don’t recommend this drink simply on the basis of flavor and not giving any wings out whatsoever.
- Bacardi Breezer
At first glance it looks like the real thing. It’s pretty similar with its label and shape of the bottle. However…..don’t be fooled!!!! They sell this drink everywhere. Its stocked in all bars including many expat bars so don’t pay the price of a normal Breezer when you’re really getting this. This drink does get a mention that its pretty decent. Its not awful but purists may find that it tastes like nail polish and juice. I’m not hating on it. For the price that they sell it in supermarkets, it makes for a good drink that has an extra kick. Too bad they don’t make Chinese beers as strong as these.
- Apple & Samsung Products
When I first came to China, I was surprised by the number of iPhones I saw people were using everywhere around me. From the local shopkeepers upwards everybody had a new Apple or Samsung product. It took a little while for me to catch onto this one. I first started noticing the catch when I would see my Chinese friend’s Wechat pictures sent to me over their “Iphones”. The quality of the photo was usually poorer as poor as a first generation smartphone. I finally understood immensity of this when I went to a cell phone market where they were selling brand new Iphone S6s for a quarter less than the market price….and that’s before bargaining! They come in a real box, have a real casing but what’s makes them different is what’s on the inside. Usually equipped with a poor processor and camera they don’t make it worth the buy. If you’re into only looks then they are perfect. Unfortunately, you cannot get these phones fixed at any authorized retailer nor do they come equipped with a warranty. you can tell what’s real and what’s not by simply opening up the battery compartment and finding the unique serial number located on the back of the case.
Later edit: It’s been pointed out to us that the version of the Red Bull we as westerners are accustomed to is in fact an adaptation of the original Thai drink called Krating Daeng. This first version of the sugary beverage is the one sold now in Chinese stores under the internationally recognized name “Red Bull”.