Beijing is facing a second sort of water crisis, not as deadly as its dwindling ground water supplies but disturbing nonetheless. Translated from Beijing Times via sina.com (Photo Quiz: Which is water is bottled, from the tap, and fake? Answer at the end of story):
Beijing’s bottled water professionals recently spilled a major secret: Half of Beijing’s bottled water, equivalent to more than 100 million barrels a year and worth 1 billion yuan, is counterfeit. Major targets are the big four brands, Wahaha (Â®ÉÂìàÂìà), Robust (‰πêÁôæÊ∞è), Nestle (ÈõÄÂ∑¢) and Yanjing (Ááï‰∫¨), with a combined annual sales of 25-30 million bottles.
The bottled water market first exploded in 1997. In 2002, counterfeit products, also known as No. 2 water, accounted for 20% of all bottled water. In five years, counterfeit bottles have swept through half of Beijing. One Guangdong water firm tried to enter the Beijing market only find it was impossible: Nearly every one of the 1,000 or so water stations it approached as potential suppliers tried to teach their employees how to counterfeit. [Full Text in Chinese]
Photo Quiz answers: Left glass is fake, middle is tap water and right is genuine bottled water. [Source: Sina.com]