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Brand-Crazy Chinese

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, June 27, 2007

Yesterday we ran a piece pointing out that Zespri was among the most counterfeited brands in China.

Sunkist is another one. Look at this photo:

Note that the Chinese counterfeiter misspelled Valencia. The problem is, of course, that counterfeiting fruit is easy and cheap. The photo above came from a blog named Sinosplice, which has nothing to do with produce. John, who writes the blog and took the photo, is a grad student in applied linguistics from Brandon, Florida, who happened to observe the anomaly.

A commenter on the site explains the thirst among the Chinese for brands:

Why do people pirate even fruits? People (in China) are crazy about named brands, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada, even though they are counterfeited with the faked labels. Most of the people are proud of the brands and exorbitant prices (they could pay), which indicate their wealth. They don’t care about the quality or practicality as long as it’s a BRAND. I’m not an appraiser, but I know there are lots of faked labels.

As we discuss here, the world is changing, and we all need to think about competition on a global scale. We also have to think about protecting our brands on a global basis.

When Whole Foods opened in London, it had to use another name for its private label because Tesco had already grabbed the name for one of its lines.

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