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China Hires 1 Million People To Fight Fake Products

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the authenticity-police dept.

China 151

hackingbear writes "In a sign of the Chinese Government's intention to crack down on the black market, there were about 1 million people employed to remove fake goods from Chinese streets, according to the vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Wang Jinzhen. Like our War on Drugs, the chance of that succeeding is not very high. 'I don't think it will be completely corrected, but still it will be eased,' he said. 'That's good for China and the company and for everyone in the world.' One key reason why companies keep their R&D departments out side of China is because of concern over IP protection. As an engineer, should we wish their effort genuine and successful? Or as your grandma warned you, be careful what you wish for."

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151 comments

Laughable, given certain traditions. (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852254)

All this will be is a make-work jobs program for China. The only fake goods you'll see stopped are the ones made by people from the wrong families.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (2)

nelson.milum (2494144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852320)

I take a less cynical view, and hope that this is an earnest effort. It would be nice I think to not ascossiate China with cheap knock-off products... I'm probably just naive though.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852370)

A million that do not have to get private jobs or go to the classic laogai system (prison labor and prison farms).
As for fake goods for local use, the wealth/top mil/gov have their own shops so they are fine.
If your making fakes, everything is paid for, nobody will want to see a good thing stop.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853476)

It sounds like an earnest effort. But I really doubt that even China would employ 1 million people to do try to do this.

There's about 2 million soldiers in China. There's about 2 million police. There's no way in *hell* that busting counterfeit handbags is going to be 1/2 as important as defence, or law and order.

Perhaps there's 1 million chengguan - city administrators. These are basically police deputies who maintain public order, by clearing away illegal or unregistered businesses. That's a charitable definition. I expect that stopping the sale of counterfeit products has simply been added to the chengguan's duties / excuses to shake down businesses. But China is trying to make it sound much more of a crackdown.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852710)

Indeed it will probably not work. Like so many attempts didn't work. Part of the reason is of course corruption, part of the reason is moral. People just don't care. I recall the story of a complete company that was faked: some Chinese businessmen set up a company using the exact logos and names etc. like some foreign company, in the same business, and were trading quite well. They were caught for trademark infringement and so. Comment from the journalist was something like: "explaining to the defendants what they did wrong will be the hardest part of the trial".

Copying is in their blood it seems. If one is successful in a certain business, everyone else will jump on it and do the same. If a hand bag sells well, other people will start making the exact same hand bag. It is really extreme. The copies often hit the market before the original.

But at least from the central government the will is there to do something about it. Not that they care so much about foreign copyrights and patents, they know they have to do it to protect their own companies, and to foster innovation of their own. Because that's what's currently thoroughly lacking in China: they copy, but do not improve anything of it or create their own designs based on imported designs, which is what gave the Japanese their early edge and what helped propel that country to the top of the world's economies.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (3, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852832)

Please list the ten biggest examples of innovators[tm] whose efforts wilted because of copying.

To be clear: I want ten examples of failure not because the inventor threw his toys out of the pram ("I'm not writing any more music until u guise stop downloading pirated MP3s I'm entitled to more money!!!") but because their efforts became genuinely financially unsustainable.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852858)

That's going to be hard, as in case of rampant copying a lot of innovation isn't even begun with in the first place because no-one wants to risk investing so much. And that's now part of China's mind set too.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853964)

Comments like yours get said a lot too, but it's hard to prove that either... I mean, It's hard to take it so seriously when a company like Apple complains that copying has taken away their chances to monetize on their R&D investments -- they are the most profitable technology company in the world! With regards to China, there were reports earlier this year that the highest revenue Apple stores in the world are in China. If copying was such a problem, you'd think that would not be the case...

Basically, it all boils down to the definition of "rampant": we (as society) need to provide a some protection against copying while allowing most of it, that's how progress happens. It's just a question of drawing the line and it's not entirely clear to me that US end Europe are totally in the right in this discussion.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852904)

Actually, I want to see a ten examples of innovators[tm] whose efforts succeeded because of copying. For example, product was developed, copied, but the innovater became successful because the copies gave market penertration/advertising, but the original was stayed better because they focused on the product.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853672)

1) Flash
2) Photoshop

both were easilly pirateable and crackable so they became incredibly popular.

I admit, that's only two things, but it's a start.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853902)

The IBM PC. Success directly attributable to the unauthorised, much cheaper and entirely compatible clones.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853278)

Wait, you want someone to list the companies that noone will ever have heard of because they failed? If we have heard of them, they would have been big enough to overcome such an obstacle.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854124)

Yes, that's right, I want assertions to be backed up with evidence. Is this going to be a problem?

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853292)

Please list the ten biggest examples of innovators[tm] whose efforts wilted because of copying.

Steve Jobs. Oh no, wait, he built his entire career on copying: taking products that already existed and executing them better.

The Mac wasn't the first personal computer - but it was better executed. The iPod wasn't the first MP3 player - but it was better executed. OS X wasn't the first GUI for Unix - but God knows, it was better executed.

Innovation is overvalued by Western businesses relative to execution. Yes, China produces a lot of poorly made knock-offs - but what annoys consumers is not that they're knock-offs, but that they're poorly made. If China can start producing well-made knock-offs, like Apple does, then maybe Western businesses will start to understand that the fuss about "counterfeit goods" is little more than cultural prejudice.

That prejudice has deep roots in Western culture, going back at least as far as the Renaissance and the myth of the lone creative genius - Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Newton, Edison, Einstein. Yes, those people were exceptionally creative - but they were also embedded in creative cultures where people shared, copied and built upon each other's ideas.

We've got our heads around the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. How long before we understand that it takes a village to build a decent MP3 player?

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853636)

Just a point to note: Japan and then South Korea's economic growth have been based on imitating first, then improving and finally innovating. As a matter of fact, wasn't USA the same when it "introduced" technologies and ideas from Europe, until its own market got enough momentum to attract talents and capital from other parts of the world?

You need to look at the whole picture and the phase of development before you jump into conclusion. Of course it's always easier and feels better to think "I am better" or judge others from your own point of view or standpoint.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854258)

Making a similar product is not the same as a concerted effort to copy products.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854134)

I'd settle for one or two. They must exist, but I don't know of any. I assume you mean copying as in cloning (Trademarks, etc) and not just copying as in doing the same thing but better.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853162)

I think it will work, because it will stop some of the more blatant fakes and move it out of the big highstreet stores. Yes there will still be fakes, but at least people will know they are buying them, and know where to go if they don't want to buy them.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

zorazora (2421200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853372)

"Copying is in their blood it seems." -- This sounds rather offensive. Among all the qualities that separate us from animals Patent Law is sitting at the very top. You must understand that in that country, the higher end of the infrastructure is very much lagging behind. I expect more understanding and helping hands, and at the same time less cynical opinions from people living in a well developed country.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854244)

I live in the most developed part of China: Hong Kong. I may be a westerner, but that remark really echoes what many people around here say about Chinese, particularly mainlanders of course. You even hear it on the mainland.

And have seen first-hand time and again that they love to copy things. The iPad had barely hit the shelves, and cheap Android based lookalikes were offered already (advertised as "7-inch iPad").

Mainlanders really have a love for fake stuff, they even have a "miss plastic surgery" election: a miss election but then for women that had plastic surgery. Everything is copied there, or faked. Internationally known is of course the milk powder scandal, and probably also the char-siu-bau that were filled with cardboard - but in that case the news report itself was faked. Even fake chicken eggs have been found in Hong Kong (they can bounce after boiling them - really interesting in a way - as I understand they actually came complete with thin rigid shell and liquid content that becomes hard when boiling).

When you buy something in a shop in mainland you'd best assume it's fake, unless you're really sure it isn't (the price is often a giveaway). Just that a shop looks like an Apple shop doesn't necessarily mean it's an Apple shop. And that's no joke. It's a disaster.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853402)

Because that's what's currently thoroughly lacking in China: they copy, but do not improve anything of it or create their own designs based on imported designs, which is what gave the Japanese their early edge and what helped propel that country to the top of the world's economies.

And Chinese companies, having copied successfully, are now starting to innovate - exactly as the Japanese did. Japan went though an early stage when "Made in Japan" meant shoddy look-alikes. From which, over thirty years, they transitions to where the same phrase meant quality advanced products. China is already embarked down that road - it won't be thirty years before they have a similar reputation. While there is still a lot of cheap tat coming out of China, companies like Huawei are producing kit that is seriously outperforming their Western competitors.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852974)

Even when there is a "great idea that might actually work" it seems that people feel the urge to turn it down somehow. :P

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853210)

The irony is that America could really use a "make-work jobs program" right now (like the Works Progress Administration that built so much infrastructure during the Great Depression).

Maybe the war on drugs could be made more labor-intensive. Let's think outside the box here. Pay unemployed people $5 an hour to work as sniffer dogs? Require SWAT teams to use human shields instead of body armor? Maybe we could pay farmers not to grow poppies, and then pay armies of workers not to harvest them?

No, you know what's laughable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853570)

Laughable is when China wants to hire a million people to fight fake products. So China makes an online application form. And a script kiddie fills in a million fake applications with different names and mug shots taken from the Internet, but his bank account details. And then fakes doing it.

That's laughable.

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

Smirker (695167) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853686)

Almost LOLed when I thought you made a pun about the "wong families."

Re:Laughable, given certain traditions. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854324)

Amen to that. If there's another way to explain DealExtreme's free shipping and continually getting away with lying to customs on pretty much every package than government influence, I don't know what it is. As I see it, the Chinese Government is directly aiding and abetting the sale of fake goods. ($5 Foakleys... last about half as long as $100 real ones)

One million? (5, Funny)

Kahlandad (1999936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852274)

They actually hired 1 man and 999,999 poorly made clones.

My thoughts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852310)

Only one million? Really?

Re:One million? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852418)

In this case, it will likely just turn around and bite the marketing brands right on the butt. A lot of consumers will find the only difference between the correctly unkown brand and the branded version is the label with a 1000% markup and a whole lot of B$ advertising they now don't have to pay for.

Hell, all I want is an honest review site where branded crap with weighed down by a crap load of advertising costs is accurately compared to the unbranded stuff coming from the same factory in China.

Bugger the brand, I'm sick of being expected to parade around the streets like some idiot pay for the privilege billboard and having to pay for some lying celebrity who pretends to like the product.

Re:One million? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852658)

I buy stuff on quality and not on brand name. A $20-60 pair of slacks will hold together just as well as $800 Armani slacks. I don't need pretentiousness clinging to my balls all day.

Dealextreme? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852332)

How will this affect the cheap stuff I buy from Dealextreme and similar (including Ebay) sites in China, whose wares show up often properly-branded (sometimes even including hologram tags) on my doorstep quickly and inexpensively?

how is this benifical to china? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852346)

pulling 1 million workers out of the private sector and assigning them the job of discouraging trade... it's for the economy's own good!

That's before even starting the debate of whether ip protection promotes growth.

Why won't people just share? (2)

mfaras (979322) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852350)

In the end we'll have to stop with all this industrial spying and intellectual property things. Let's just go OpenHardware by default, share our creations and then share the market strategy. This way any insight from any person can be used by anyone, doesn't it sound nice?

Re:Why won't people just share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852362)

This way any insight from any person can be used by anyone, doesn't it sound nice?

Where is the profit motive in this economic model? Why would anyone risk time and money to launch a new product when it could be immediately and legally copied?

Re:Why won't people just share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852448)

Where is the profit motive in this economic model? Why would anyone risk time and money to launch a new product when it could be immediately and legally copied?

Where is the profit motive in this economic model? Why would anyone risk time and money to launch a new product when it could be immediately and legally copied?

Re:Why won't people just share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852508)

I don't think that model will be any more popular than open-source software at best.

Re:Why won't people just share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852786)

Ask RedHat what they have to say about CentOS. I haven't heard RedHat suing CentOS all over the world.

Re:Why won't people just share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852632)

This way any insight from any person can be used by anyone, doesn't it sound nice?

Where is the profit motive in this economic model? Why would anyone risk time and money to launch a new product when it could be immediately and legally copied?

First Mover Advantage.

Development is likely to be incremental (ie. cheap) so you probably won't see big splashes from anyone other than new start-ups and academia but the economics work fine.

China black-banned (2)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852358)

Our software company has already black-banned China. We flatly refuse to license any product in China due to IP concerns.

/we know this wont stop them from copying it. It is a deterrant.

It is one of two countries that we have black-banned for legal reasons.

The other is the US. We're not a big software house, and we can't afford the PI insurance to sell products in America.

Re:China black-banned (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852416)

It is one of two countries that we have black-banned for legal reasons. The other is the US. We're not a big software house, and we can't afford the PI insurance to sell products in America.

It's always good to piss off Americans on a predominantly American website.

Re:China black-banned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852434)

It's the American way, you insensitive clod!

Re:China black-banned (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852702)

I'm not pissed off about it and I'm an American (or a US citizen for you "sensitive PC" types). If the cost of doing business in the US is too high, then it makes sense not to do business there. I am curious about what Professional Indemnity Insurance is needed by a Software Publisher, does the GP's company produce software for SCADA systems or medical systems?

Re:China black-banned (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852470)

Black-banned?

I understand the term "black-balled."

I also understand the term "banned"

But "black-banned?" Please define.

Re:China black-banned (1)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852554)

Sorry. Poor English. Either term is adequate.

Re:China black-banned (2)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852668)

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_did_the_saying_Black_Ban_originate [answers.com]

Origin: Australia (Circa 1925)

History: The Australian Labor Movement (Unions) required legal financial membership of the appropriate union. They would issue a membership card printed and signed in black ink.

Usage: Unions would place work bans upon various employers or work sites where the employer used non-union labor/practices. They would also place bans for political reasons. The term "black ban" means Union members not allowed to work for or at an employer or work site. The term is non-racist.

Re:China black-banned (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853788)

Black-banned?

I understand the term "black-balled."

I also understand the term "banned"

But "black-banned?" Please define.

Did you hear what he said? He's proud his company has disallowed legitimate ownership of the software in a country to prevent piracy in that country??? I'd say more apt terms are "face palm" or perhaps "face plant".

Re:China black-banned (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852722)

I think the word you're looking for is "black-listed".

Re:China black-banned (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852776)

No. I'm pretty sure he used black-banned. It is used in a few parts of the world to mark places where products aren't sold. Aussieland, Canada and India use this term.

Re:China black-banned (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853718)

"IP concerns"? So you're part of organized crime, or what?
Because that is the only group who uses such words.
Watch this, and be ashamed of yourself: Johanna Blakely: Lessons from fashion's free culture [youtube.com]

Re:China black-banned (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853774)

Our software company has already black-banned China. We flatly refuse to license any product in China due to IP concerns. /we know this wont stop them from copying it. It is a deterrant.

So it's a piracy deterent to make the only way to get your product piracy?

You don't even see the stupidity do you? Stop drinking the cool-aid. It's toxic.

So your detterent to them copying your software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853946)

So your detterent to them copying your software is to give them no option to buy it?

MPAA, is that you? Oh wait, no. Not even the MPAA is THAT stupid.

Next, how to stop shop lifting. Close your store. Stop car theft, bring it to the crushers. I don't even want to know your method for having safe sex.

Re:China black-banned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854336)

If it won't stop them from copying, by definition it won't deter that copying.

So much for being a deterrent.

If it were my decision, I'd go ahead and happily license it in China. The difference is that you get the income from that first license (maybe several) before a few other Chinese black-hat companies just pirate it. With your deterrent, you DON'T get the income from any Chinese licenses, and a few Chinese black-hat companies just pirate it.

Coming very soon, world brands from China (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852372)

Knockoffs belong to an earlier stage of commerce. China is now moving into the branding era. Haier, the largest manufacturer of major appliances in the world, based in Shandong, now sells in the US under its own name. [haieramerica.com] Yesterday, BYD Cars, a major automaker in China, opened their US headquarters. [byd.com]

Someday, Foxconn will decide they no longer need Apple.

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852516)

Be a little less biased. Look through this: http://www.haier.com/index.html [haier.com] . We have Haier Japan, Haier India, Haier Europe, Haier Russia. That doesn't mean they are branding it as American/European/Indian/Japanese/Russian/whatever. those are just marketing divisions. A lot of companies have those.

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852558)

I've seen Haier stuff for sale in the US for years -- mostly on goods that involve refrigeration of some kind. Looking at your link, I see that its available offerings have not changed much recently.

I have a Haier chest freezer in my utility room, and it was already rather old when I got a couple of years ago.

The BYD Cars thing is another point entirely, but I (for one) am completely satisfied at calling Bullshit on exactly 50% of your post.

FWIW, YMMV, et cetera.

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852734)

And it's about time that they start to develop their own brands. China has been developing for several decades by now, and their manufacturers have only managed to establish a handful of brand locally, and even less internationally. For the rest it's all brand-less, no-name stuff that can compete on nothing but price.

Brands tell who it comes from, and give an indication of quality. Be it low, mid or high quality - the important thing is that you see BMW your expectations on quality, price, etc. are different than when you see Volkswagen. This allows BMW to charge higher prices than Volkswagen. But put two no-brand cars next to one another... well everything else being the same (on the outlook) the customer will go for the cheaper one.

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852756)

So those chinese cars are the same rolling death traps that we already know and love right? Fatal crashes at 30mph.

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852778)

And any American that buys either company's products should have their citizenship revoked and/or immediately deported to China. It should be that way for any Chinese made product.

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852932)

Both my ADSL modem and cell phone are Huawei branded. Neither has failed me yet, but I've no idea how often they "phone home".

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853158)

Like.... Lenovo?

Re:Coming very soon, world brands from China (1)

stasike (1063564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853818)

Exactly like Lenovo.
And don't forget the famous Chinese brand Hummer.

Welcome Chicoms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852376)

Soon you too can reap the benefits of American style patent hell.
Better put another million through intellectual property law school.

Beware the Christmas Lights! (2)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852388)

I love the way stupid ways companies try to discourage product copying. Like the way they insist, no matter the type of product, that knockoffs are a safety hazard.

If you believe these idiots everything from blue jeans to DVDs will kill you unless it comes from the right factory and has a little hologram on the label.

Not to mention that tons of illicit product out there is perfectly authentic; it's just not licensed. Just because a license gets pulled doesn't always mean the owners stop churning out the product, and even while the place is licensed there's often some after-hours manufacturing to make extra money on the black market.

At some point we'll have to accept that intellectual property isn't a natural law; some people and some entire nations won't follow it simply because they don't believe in it, and America won't regain its economic prowess via all of this endless arm twisting, extortion, and bribery aimed at exporting our intellectual property law.

We won't get away with basing our entire economy on licensing payments, Hollywood fantasies, and financial products. The sooner people just accept that the sooner we can start fixing shit.

Re:Beware the Christmas Lights! (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852528)

I love the way stupid ways companies try to discourage product copying. Like the way they insist, no matter the type of product, that knockoffs are a safety hazard.

If you believe these idiots everything from blue jeans to DVDs will kill you unless it comes from the right factory and has a little hologram on the label.

Not to mention that tons of illicit product out there is perfectly authentic; it's just not licensed. Just because a license gets pulled doesn't always mean the owners stop churning out the product, and even while the place is licensed there's often some after-hours manufacturing to make extra money on the black market.

At some point we'll have to accept that intellectual property isn't a natural law; some people and some entire nations won't follow it simply because they don't believe in it, and America won't regain its economic prowess via all of this endless arm twisting, extortion, and bribery aimed at exporting our intellectual property law.

We won't get away with basing our entire economy on licensing payments, Hollywood fantasies, and financial products. The sooner people just accept that the sooner we can start fixing shit.

Right.

Because there is nothing wrong with Chinese counterfeit bolts made of low-grade steel but marked as high strength, right? You'd want those holding your seat and seat belt to your car frame, right?

And you wouldn't sue the car company if the bolts failed in an accident.

If you want to buy some fake jeans or a fancy D&G bag on the black market, it'll probably be fine. But the knockoffs can a safety hazard for any product that is actually regulated for safety. Maybe your fake Chinese kid's toy is made out of cheaper hazardous materials. Or maybe it's flammable.

Re:Beware the Christmas Lights! (3, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852774)

The problem with those knock-offs is not so much product copying, but brand copying. E.g. US Superbolt produces quality and strength certified bolts, with a price tag to match. Then Chinabolt produces the same bolts, but sells them at lower price under their own brand. Fine: you know what you buy, you know there is no strength certification, so don't use these bolts when you need such a quality guarantee. That doesn't say Chinabolt's bolts are poor quality - they may be just as strong, they're just not tested and certified to be.

The problem starts when Chinabolt starts selling their bolts in Superbolt look-alike packing, claiming to be guaranteed strong enough, just half price. And that's a problem that should be tackled head-on. You must know what you buy, and currently in China unless you're absolutely sure what you buy is the original (how to be so sure, that's another matter) you'd better assume it's a knock-off.

Re:Beware the Christmas Lights! (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852606)

"At some point we'll have to accept that intellectual property isn't a natural law; some people and some entire nations won't follow it simply because they don't believe in it, and America won't regain its economic prowess via all of this endless arm twisting, extortion, and bribery aimed at exporting our intellectual property law."
There is no such thing as "natural law". Get over it and start treating people fairly. It's the only rational basis for morality, not some pie-in-the-sky "natural law".

"We won't get away with basing our entire economy on licensing payments, Hollywood fantasies, and financial products. The sooner people just accept that the sooner we can start fixing shit."
The United States is still a manufacturing powerhouse - though you certainly wouldn't know it from reading slashdot. It was only last year that China surpassed the United States in manufacturing. Don't believe me? Here you go:

March 15, 2011:
"By measures of output, China edged by the United States to become the world's largest manufacturing country last year, ending US dominance over the last 110 years, according to a study Monday by economic research firm IHS Global Insight."
http://www.china.org.cn/business/2011-03/15/content_22147078.htm [china.org.cn]

I know that intellectual property is (for some bizarre reason I can't fathom) panned on Slashdot, but it takes real work to make digital media. Based on your comment, it seems that even "for profit" piracy is condoned. I suppose the ultimate result of your argument is devaluing intellectual work in favor of physical products, even when IP-based products are more important. I mean, the whole reason the US manufacturing sector is so large (despite having far fewer workers in manufacturing than China) is because of computers and software. But, no, no, go ahead and take a swing at intellectual property in favor of "real" manufactured products. And feel free to bitch about tractor based farming and fertilizer in favor of "good old muscle with a shovel and hoe".

Re:Beware the Christmas Lights! (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853698)

Yeah, I've seen those figures about the US being ahead in manufacturing.

But are they really legit?

Does buying 10 turnkey parts from China, and putting the final few bolts in the US count as "Made in the USA"?

This will increase inflation in China (1)

tvlinux (867035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852428)

Many people buy fake items because that is all they can afford. When the fakes are removed the original will cost too much for the average person. It will also be a great opportunity for off brands and local brands. In the end the average person will have to pay more for everything.

Re:This will increase inflation in China (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852512)

No, it will mean that local brands will take over. pick up your latest cPhone and cPod players. Likewise, droidCX2 is now available. The difference is that all of the tech will have been stolen/duplicated already, so having a new local brand is MUCH cheaper.

Re:This will increase inflation in China (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852548)

Or things are cheaper because they now pay the real price for the former fake object.
These products have been developed if they are actually useful people will continue to buy them.

Re:This will increase inflation in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852834)

Many people buy fake items because that is all they can afford. When the fakes are removed the original will cost too much for the average person.

Cry me a river. "I have to buy a fake Rolex since I can't buy a real one, waa waa waa."

It will also be a great opportunity for off brands and local brands. In the end the average person will have to pay more for everything.

OK, now you got it right, if you can't afford Armani, buy a legitimate, cheaper option. If you buy fakes because you can't afford the name brand, you're just showing everyone that you're an insecure douchebag bleater.

How does this work exactly??? (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852438)

...996...997...998...999... Okay you, your job is the keep the other 999 folks honest!

Chinese Culture (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852454)

The Chinese are thieves. Human garbage. This will accomplish nothing.

Re:Chinese Culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853076)

Chinese culture is an oxymoron. The communists eradicated the Chinese culture and replaced it with communism.

1m people employed... (1)

ushere (1015833) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852462)

of which 99% are fakes

Numbers don't add up (1)

Rsriram (51832) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852490)

Seems like PRspeak. China has a working population of about 500-600 million of which probably 300 million are in the manufacturing sector (remove agriculture and services). A 1 million strong workforce means one person for every 300 workers just to check counterfeiting. Something wrong here. I guess these are just buzzword to show how much the Chinese govt is doing against piracy. It signals intent rather than actual implementation.

Re:Numbers don't add up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852646)

Fake products don't just come from China. A lot of the fake stuff I run into here actually comes from Korea, Vietnam, etc. China isn't always just the manufacturer, it's also a big and growing market. In fact, non-Chinese fake stuff competing with Chinese brands may be a contributing incentive to this campaign.

Re:Numbers don't add up (1)

priceslasher (2102064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852860)

Maybe they already have a million people enforcing various things for certain people but who need an acceptable label more in tune with western values. So now China will have copyright reminderers, free speech zones, ministries of peace, insurance orginizations. Next they will have a million lawyers.

Chinese Lying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852492)

Slashdot boyz and grrlz, do get a grip on reality. When the Chines government tells a lie, it is an obvious whopper. It is delightful, really. Well, they have just told a whopper. Nothing to see here, move along.

Might as well just finish the west (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852500)

Seriously, each one that has moved to there, has suffered from extreme theft. Generally, the stolen goods are then sold local and around the world, EXCEPT to America and EU. So, the fools that produce there get one decently sized market for a time and then accepts that. Yet, everybody that goes there loses.

Now, if they would move the engineering there, they will find that it becomes like what happened to Google (stolen by gov. plants inside of your company). At that point, any good stockholder would fire all of the top management, press charges against them for killing the company and then sell the company to Chinese gov.

Re:Might as well just finish the west (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852674)

From experience I can tell you that things aren't always stolen, but often sold. I've dealt with a ton of US companies who would ask me to remove identifying markers from their molds and sell them on their behalf. This looks good on the budget of their sourcing team and the rest of the US company is non the wiser.

I can also tell you that many of these US companies come here to make fakes themselves. The only thing they do different from the local fakes is that they change just enough parameters to get away with it back in the states and then boldly slap their own brand on it.

And no, I'm not talking small shady firms here - this is all stuff sold in Wal-Mart, Target and other major chains.

Is the west buying the fakes! (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852712)

I think this plan will not work and I think that China does not want it to work. I do not want it to work either! Fake hand bags, watches, and so on are a huge tourist draw for China.
I have been all over China, heck my wife is from China. One thing I notices, ALL her girl friends have expensive hand bags. LV, coach, execrate and none of them have fake bags. They spends tons on the real deal.
When ever we go back to China, we normally will buy two are three fakes for our German friends or friends back in the US. I

If you look at the numbers, China is currently the number one buyer of luxury goods in the world. Putting 1 million people to work as IP cops will not change it. The only thing it will do is hurt so many of the low income folks who make their living selling to people like me, who, to be honest would NEVER allow the purchase of a real 1000 dollar hand bag. So, they will not gain any sales.

I get that China wants to change their image, but China is China and I think it will always have it's own values, which are different than the corporate west.

Re:Is the west buying the fakes! (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852850)

It's not just designer hand bags that are being copied. If that was all, there wouldn't be any large scale economic problem. It's basically *everything* that's worth more with a brand tag on it. Even if it's a bad and cheap copy of a phone battery, tagging it "Nokia" will make it double in value for less than the cost of the tagging. Simple parts like high grade steel bolts for planes, cars etc. get copied a lot as well. Make something sub par, tag it to be high quality and make more profit on it.

It's not just the west buying this stuff. China itself is a big market for these goods as well. They are starting to feel the pain in their own economy of corruption and fraud. Babies are dying because baby milk powder gets poisoned with melamine. Train safety systems fail due to inferior parts being used, causing train crashes. Chinese companies lose contracts all over the world due to bad quality products delivered, even if their own fabrication was good. If they used inferior parts that fail safety tests, they will start testing them internally and go after the companies selling them fake products. This is the stage the Chinese economy is in now. They have discovered that this large scale of fakes and frauds is hurting themselves just as much as it's hurting other countries.

The streets aren't necessarily where its happening (1)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852760)

... remove fake goods from Chinese streets ...

And what about the parking garage level that is entirely reserved for a swap meet type environment with the most blatant pirated and fake goods? Some of this stuff has already been moving from high visibility areas to more "underground" venues. All the locals know where to go.

Re:The streets aren't necessarily where its happen (2)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852822)

Actually, you can never buy the good fakes on the street. You have to "order" them. Normally it takes like 40 min to get the good stuff. Some times, you come with them through a maze of houses and go into one. I dont do this though unless I am with a bigger group.
Best to go to one of the markets and discreetly inquire about a higher quality product. Really, you cant tell the difference. All marks which should be there, all the tell tails. Everything is at it should be.

One million people (2)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37852794)

Looking to get bribed to look the other way.

Theft and copying are second nature over there.
As is graft.

One of my clients had their entire COMPANY cloned over there. They never produced anything there. They never outsourced anything there. They never even hired anyone from there. Someone simply set up a shadow company, expropriated all the logos, model names, etc and set themselves up in the business of building exact knockoffs.

It ran for nearly 3 years before someone over there screwed up and tried to be creative (by putting out a product line that wasn't a perfect knockoff). One day my customer gets a service call for a product line they don't produce. They go round and round with the people and finally dispatch a technician from their nearest office (Japan).

All that getting the authorities involved did was cause the company to simply move, change their name and continue making knockoffs. As long as someone's palm is being greased, they'll never be shut down for good.

Anyone even considering outsourcing ANYTHING to China nowadays is a fucking idiot.

Re:One million people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854058)

Anyone even considering outsourcing ANYTHING to China nowadays is a fucking idiot.

I really do not get how you got to that conclusion from your story? It seems if your client had outsourced to China they might (or might not, it's definitely not an exact science) have got their product built with less cost, making more profit. The knockoffs would be sold in China making business there harder, sure, but that was the case without outsourcing as well so what's the downside?

Screw China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852918)

A country where the public drive over (twice) then ignore babies in the street while they writhe in agony and eventually die due their injuries is a sick place and we need to not be working with them at all.

Re:Screw China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853086)

Yes, because its much better with a country that in the last 10 years has killed tens of thousands of babies by bombing them to pieces, or condemned them to cancer and all sorts of issues because that depleted iranium is such a nice slug against armour?

Re:Screw China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853478)

Your poor English betrays you commie! :)

Nice pro-drug bias in the summary, samzenpus. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37852992)

Can you leave politically charged bias out of the summary? What's next? Please EDIT the submissions you receive to remove this kind of thing.

Look I can do it too:

"Intel's new chipset is likely to fail much like the anti open-carry law enacted in California"

Would you accept that? I hope not. Open carry doesn't have anything to do with Intel, but the Slashdot editors don't care and let this happen. Don't let the summaries become soapboxes for dickhead submitters that have to push some agenda they feel strongly about. There are other places to do that.

Who is kidding whom here? (3, Insightful)

LABarr (14341) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853168)

China cracking down on counterfeit goods, eh? First off despite what the article says, I doubt China is really serious about this problem. I suspect it will be just like the problem of how China is "very serious about curbing the digital information available to it's own population," i.e. the Great firewall of China. This prevents information from getting into or or even out China. (My cousin went to China last summer and could not even post to facebook or his own blog) Yet despite China claiming they police their own citizens, in reality next to nothing actually done to control their citizen's attacking my servers on a daily basis. I average 3 to 6 hacking attempts per day. Over 90 percent of that traffic comes from China. Am I supposed to be happy that the situation isn't 10x times worse?

The Chinese government doesn't really seem to be too concerned with efforts make their citizens play nice with the rest of the world... So how are we supposed to believe they are taking the issue of black market / counterfeit goods seriously?

Curbing counterfeit goods or stopping hackers from illegal activity is a moral ethics problem as much as anything and I just don't see the Chinese government encouraging (or enforcing) it's citizens to do the right thing. This seems like another "we're getting tough on crime" PR stunt but in reality it's just business as usual.

Re:Who is kidding whom here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853938)

My mom is a flight attendant. She goes to china a lot and likes the occasional knockoff. They now hide certain brands of knockoffs, in secrete rooms, vents and off-site. If these knockoffs are found they are confiscated and destroyed. I guess the store has to pay a fine, too. But only if you have knockoffs of certain brands like Chanel. They will actual leave other brand's knockoffs at the store. This tells me; that certain brands are paying the Chinese Government to go after their knockoffs.

Which counterfeit brands? (1)

Big Nemo '60 (749108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853274)

At least some big Chinese companies are now starting to build up their own intellectual property and branding.

I'd guess, that's what their Government is aiming to protect.

Good luck with that.

Not a million full-timers (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853444)

I would doubt that this means a million full-time workers. My guess is that most of that million is people paid a small fee and a commission for looking out when they go to the markets in then normal course of their lives and whistleblowing when they see counterfeits. Obviously, there will be some full time organisers, and some full-time enforcers. But that figure of a million strikes me as a PR figure to tell the world that the government is taking conterfeiting seriously.

a copyright on human babies production (1)

xaccrocheur (470934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853540)

Where do you draw the line ? I'm sure the first baker wanted to keep making bread alone. Now you got Monsanto and others trying to patent potatoes. I don't know about you, but when I see that, it makes me want to rip apart a Nokia N900 and build it myself.

More likely a million more bribe recipients (1)

LazLong (757) | more than 2 years ago | (#37853816)

Graft and corruption is endemic in Chinese society, so this is more of an opportunity for the newly employed to line their pockets with money from bribes.

oh China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853826)

that number is pretty insignificant compared to China's overall population. Its like getting 100 people to clean the entire gulf coast. It isn't enough in the grand scheme of things

US history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37853904)

Until the US signed up to global patent agreements the flouting was huge in the 19th century, then as the economy matured they joined in. China is doing the same.

It's sad that people here will be posting without (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854116)

knowing the facts of the current situation in China and assume that US priacy situation apply to China's priacy situation.

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