Tougher penalties required to deter counterfeiters
Fake shoes are on display in a shopping mall in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province, in November in 2013. A pair of fake branded shoes sold at only hundreds of yuan. [Photo/VCG]
IN AN INTERVIEW ON WEDNESDAY, Liu Pingjun, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee and former deputy director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said that even if those producing counterfeit goods are caught 9 times out of 10, those not caught that one time will be able to make huge profits, which is why fake goods are so prevalent. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Thursday:
Counterfeit goods violate the intellectual property rights of the brands they claim to "emulate" and undermine efforts to promote domestic brands. Yet despite the existence of laws including the Criminal Law and the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests, as well as routine special inspections on manufacturing quality, poor quality counterfeits are still prevalent in some places as they can bring huge illicit gains to those producing them.
Big name brands are often the target of copycats who believe that the profits to be made are worth all the risks. Decent returns and low costs have emboldened many to break the law by producing and distributing fake goods in pursuit of quick money, even at the risk of being held criminally accountable.
Jack Ma, founder of the domestic e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said keeping shoddy counterfeits at bay requires stricter enforcement of the law and the concerted efforts of various parties. Alibaba reported some 4,495 clues of fake commodities on its platform last year, but only a tenth of them were taken care of by police and just 33 cases were brought to trial. The average penalty for those found guilty in about 200 cases last year was less than 100,000 yuan ($14,000).
The wrongdoers will only learn their lesson with harsher, more targeted punishments.
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