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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Faux 'imported' brands that are made in China

By Wang Xin  (China Daily)

09:15, December 07, 2011

China-made products are common around the world after decades of historic export growth, but some Chinese companies are adding a new international twist - claiming foreign roots when selling at home.

Scient milk power is made in Guangdong, yet was labeled a US brand until the company admitted it is purely Chinese, according to China Business News.

Another Chinese company had a popular slogan - "Oudian floors, really German"- for its top-end tile. That image collapsed when local media reported the product is made in China, not Germany, as the company claimed.

The latest faux foreign claims from a well-known product are by Davinci home furniture. In an effort to go up market, the company advertised that 100 percent of its furniture line is imported. Chinese media now report at least some of the furniture is made in China.

A fake foreign image is not uncommon in the current market, a practice that runs across a wide range of sectors, especially in fashion and food, Gao Boxuan, a senior researcher at CIConsulting, told Xinhua News Agency.

Giovanni de Sanctis, a senior Italian trade official, told China Daily that he himself has found several so-called Italian brands - products ranging from car scent to suitcases, bags and bedding - that have nothing to do with Italy.

Sanctis said he checked information with trade associations in his homeland and replies came back that the products he found are fake.

When he enquired about suspicious "Italian" products on sale, someone took a picture that the proprietor later used in sales material showing Sanctis with the products.

"I think the only link between the company and Italy is me," the official said.

He showed a company leaflet that promotes its alleged Italian brand Toskany with the picture of a city captioned "Tuscany", a region in Italy and the obvious inspiration for the brand.

But the picture is of Venice, which is not in Tuscany.

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