Goods destroyed to publicise war on fakes
Nearly 200 mainland cities publicly destroyed tens of millions of fake and substandard goods yesterday as part of a major publicity drive intended to rein in the country's booming counterfeiting industry.
State media showed steamrollers trundling over huge stockpiles of phony medicines, cigarettes and premium spirits, while mechanical diggers crushed skipfuls of other fake products in central plazas. More than 25 million items were confiscated by police as part of 'Operation Draw the Sword' - a campaign which, according to Xinhua, is also aimed at thwarting the production of imitation designer clothes, fake cosmetics and foodstuffs.
A police spokesperson told the state news agency that 182 cities took part in yesterday's publicity exercise.
The event was the second such drive held simultaneously by police forces across the country this year. May 15 was designated national 'anti-fake' day.
Beijing is anxious to draw attention to efforts to tackle the problem. Counterfeiting on the mainland has long drawn criticism from international design brands and luxury goods makers, who claim they lose vast quantities in potential earnings as a result of the trade in fakes.
Since the campaign was launched in November of last year, mainland authorities have handled 28,607 cases involving 22,107 'nests' dealing in fake goods and 6,773 counterfeiting rings, the China Police Daily reported. A total of 18 billion yuan (HK$22 billion) worth of fake goods have been seized, equivalent to 500 billion yuan in value if they were the genuine products.
The police journal said many of the busts required nationwide co-operation involving a number of police forces. One gang, which had been producing counterfeit luxury wines and spirits, was operating across 20 provinces.
Raids on the group were carried out in March in a massive effort involving 2,500 officers from 14 local police forces, including Beijing, Zhejiang, Henan and Guizhou. The operation rounded up 483 suspects and 134,000 bottles of fake Chinese spirits and wines.
In another case, police in Guangdong seized 110,000 pairs of counterfeit athletic shoes, with an estimated value of more than 45 million yuan.
The report also highlighted the problem of fake foods, in particular cooking oil products, which has been the focus of public concern nationwide following a series of scandals.