Battling Counterfeit Brands in China

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chinese shopper

The Chinese consumer market is one that is riddled with competition and high end brands looking to make it big in the market. This market is also open to many investors from other countries, as the consumer market in China is one of the strongest that can be seen in all of the world, surpassing even the United States in terms of market sales. So what is it about the Chinese market that is more appealing to consumers? Most professionals would state that this is due to the brands that are being represented in China, as the brand can make all the difference as this is the perception of the product or service by the consumer. The key for success in the Chinese market for any business is to protect their brand.

Protecting a brand in China comes down to more than just ensuring that customer service is maintained and ensuring a quality product or service. One of the big issues facing brands in China today are counterfeits that aim at stealing business and tricking consumers into thinking they are getting the real deal.

Two-thirds of counterfeit trade is from China

This statistic is according to the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes. For companies, if they do venture into the Chinese market and are successful, it does mean that eventually their product will be counterfeited. The popular Alibaba Group, responsible for Taobao, Tmall, AliExpress and Alibaba.com is one of the online shopping platforms that shows the seriousness of counterfeited goods.

According to stores on these platforms, up to 80% of goods found online are counterfeit

The graph below shows just how many counterfeits are making it out of China into other countries, namely the United States. Of all these that were seized, 79% of the counterfeits were from China:

counterfeit

The question is what can a company new to the Chinese market or even established businesses do in order to ensure they are not being victimized by counterfeits?

First things first, a company must ensure their product is trademarked appropriately for China. This will mean consulting legal counsel to ensure this is done properly. Once this is in place, then it becomes a goal of finding products on the market that may be claiming to be your brand, but aren’t. This will involve spending hours searching the online markets to determine who is putting these items up for sale, where these counterfeits are originating and then taking action.

Action will involve trying to get these products removed from the online platform your business is using. Several ecommerce stores are spending a lot of time devoted to removing these counterfeit goods, in an effort to ensure that real companies are not losing business due to these low cost counterfeits. This is the case with several brands throughout China, and it is greatly affecting the entire economy.

The more in which a brand takes action to get these counterfeit products removed from the shopping platform, the more counterfeiters are going to steer clear. Any brand that spends the time to find these counterfeiters, is one company these criminals do not want to deal with. It will take time to do this, but the time infested will pay off in the long run.

For many brands, the time they spend finding these counterfeiters, also serves as a great way to determine what the consumer market may need from you. This can help to establish a brand as a reliable and trustworthy. Which are two traits that several Chinese consumers are interested in when they devote their hard earned income to buying the products from companies.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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