Chinese police pull the plug on Dyson hairdryer pirates

  • Two manufacturing bases raided and 36 people arrested in joint action across southern and eastern China
  • Company made US$1.5 million in sophisticated operation
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 January, 2019, 6:29pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 January, 2019, 10:50pm

A Chinese company that made and sold fakes of a popular British brand of hairdryers has been shut down by police and 36 people have been placed in criminal detention.

About 400 counterfeit Dyson hairdryers, 1,500 half-finished products and 200,000 components were seized in a joint action carried out by officers from Shanghai, Guangdong and Fujian in the middle of December.

The fakes were selling for as low as half the price of the genuine hairdryers, according to the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which said two manufacturing bases were raided in the operation.

The investigation began in August after police received tip-offs from consumers who complained after buying the fake hairdryers from major shopping websites.

Police said the ringleaders were a man, surnamed Yang, and his wife who had set up a company in the southern province of Guangdong a year ago and bought some Dyson products under the guise of a legitimate trading business.

Instead, they hired technicians to dismantle and analyse the appliances and established their own assembly lines for the copycat plan.

The couple also hired workers and set up departments in component procurement, production, storage and logistics, and wholesale and retail businesses.

Their fake hairdryers were sold at discounts of between 10-50 per cent of the 2,990 yuan (US$435) selling price for the Dyson product on the mainland.

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Police found the pirated appliances on sale in regions like Shanghai, Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, with the company making more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million).

According to police, the fakes were hard to identify by sight alone but were not up to standard and could destroy users’ hair, as well as causing a fire risk.

The police authority said Shanghai police had investigated 500 cases involving intellectual property right infringement throughout 2018.