China Still King of the Global Counterfeit Trade

According to a new report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 68 percent of all counterfeit goods seized globally between 2008 and 2010 were manufactured in China. Quartz reports:

Counterfeit goods make up about 2% of world trade, worth about $250 billion a year, according to a report released today (April 16) on transnational crime in Asia by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC). And, 67% of those counterfeit products were manufactured in China […], according to data on goods seized worldwide between 2008 and 2010.

Global counterfeit trade, considered a “soft crime” by the UNODC, is made up of seemingly innocuous items like knock-off designer handbags and watches, but also includes more dangerous goods like fake medicine or toxic toys. Since its emergence as the world’s factory, China has developed a reputation for exporting fake, dangerous goods from pesticides, to fatal diet pills, cold medicine and herapin, a blood thinner, that killed 81 in the US in 2008. Recently, US custom regulators have charged companies for selling counterfeit made-in China toys with dangerous levels of lead.

For more on counterfeit goods, see ‘The Status of Fakery in China‘ at CDT, and Stan Abrams on the often ignored distinction between fakery and counterfeiting.


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