China gives Fifa fakes the boot as World Cup soccer kicks off in Russia

Counterfeits destined for overseas have been seized across the country, state media report

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 6:30pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 10:27pm

Chinese customs officers have stopped hundreds of thousands of fake Fifa World Cup products from leaving the country as counterfeiters pounced on the chance to make money from the international sporting event.

Counterfeit goods, mainly footballs and sports clothing, were seized by customs in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Yiwu, the world’s biggest wholesale market, ahead of Thursday night’s start to the World Cup in Russia.

China News Service reported that Guangzhou customs impounded more than 7,800 fake Fifa products, all from one manufacturer and destined for Tanzania.

Huangpu customs, also in Guangzhou, seized 4,500 World Cup-Adidas soccer shirts mixed with a shipment of unbranded shirts, the report said.

In Shanghai, the world’s busiest port, customs officials have discovered more than 130,000 items that allegedly infringed the intellectual property rights of the sporting event, according to earlier CNS reports.

In one major case, nearly 2,500 “Russia 2018” footballs made in Nanjing were seized in mid-April before they could be shipped to Columbia through Yangshan port in Shanghai.

Counterfeit goods from China make up almost 2pc of world trade

Hundreds of knock-off footballs were also impounded in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday in what was the 12th Fifa IPR raid by Hangzhou customs, which oversees Yiwu customs, this year, Zhejiang Daily reported. The dozen cases netted roughly 32,000 counterfeits combined, the report said.

The Chinese team may not have made it to Russia but enthusiasm is mounting in China for the soccer tournament held every four years.

World Cup-related products are among the bestsellers on Yiwugou.com, the Yiwu commodities market’s online platform. More than 100 million of the top four products, all small flags of finalists in the event, have been sold in the past month, according to the website.

Chinese companies are also spending big on the event, signing up as either partners, sponsors or regional supporters.

Chinese police seize ‘record’ haul of counterfeit banknotes

Dalian-based property giant Wanda Group is one of Fifa’s seven global partners, while TV maker Hisense, dairy firm Mengniu, and mobile phone manufacturer Vivo are among the event’s five sponsors.

In addition, electric scooter maker Yadea and menswear brand Diking have been added to the line-up of Asian regional supporters.