Something's Fishy About Chinese Hairy Crabs

Yangcheng Lake, which is a short train ride from Shanghai, is famous for their hairy crabs. With China’s rising demand for these crabs, whose name comes from the brown hair around their claws,  counterfeit crabs have dominated the market and are causing woes for authentic hairy crab sellers despite measures to curb the counterfeit crab market. NPR reports:

The market in counterfeit Yangcheng hairy crabs is 10 times the market in real ones, according to the Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab Association…Local crab wholesalers have fought counterfeiters for years with various tactics. They’ve used lasers to etch the Yangcheng name on crab shells. This year, the crab association distributed 15 million plastic tags to certify their crabs were the real thing […]

“Everything is being counterfeited,” says a crab fisherwoman with the surname of Xing, who sells crabs by the side of Yangcheng Lake in the city of Suzhou. “There’s nothing you can do about it. And you can’t control it.”

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