Monday, June 04, 2007

More blather and indignation about shoddy and sometimes criminal Chinese goods

NYT: When fakery turns fatal
“This is cut-throat market capitalism,” said Wenran Jiang, a specialist in China who teaches at the University of Alberta. “But the question has to be asked: is this uniquely Chinese or is there simply a lack of regulation in the market?”
Counterfeiting, of course, is not new to China. Since this country’s economic reforms began to take root in the 1980s, businesses have engineered countless ways to produce everything from fake car parts, cosmetics and brand name bags to counterfeit electrical cables and phony Viagra. Counterfeiting rings are broken nearly every week; nonetheless, the government seems to be waging a losing battle against the operations.
Dozens of Chinese cities have risen to prominence over the last two decades by first specializing in fake goods, like Wenzhou, which was once known for selling counterfeit
Procter & Gamble products, and Kaihua in Zhejiang province, which specialized in fake Philips light bulbs.


“We have to bear in mind they probably don’t think about the consequences at all,” said Steve Tsang, a China specialist who teaches at Oxford University. “They’re probably only thinking of making a fast buck.”

On one hand, China has a habit of making even minor white collar crimes capital offences. Many of the perpetrators who are caught will get a death sentence with only a passing semblance of a trial.

On the other hand, China is going to need to seriously stock up on Potassium Chloride for all of the shady bucket shop brokerages that will take a fall when the Chinese equity markets collapse.

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