Shanghai’s in­fa­mous fake mar­ket on its last legs

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shanghai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shanghai’s in­fa­mous Hancity Fash­ion & Ac­ces­sories Plaza, widely re­garded as the goto place for coun­ter­feit goods in the city, is fac­ing im­mi­nent clo­sure as au­thor­i­ties move to strengthen the pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

Shops from Shanghai Hancity En­ter­prise Man­age­ment Co Ltd have al­ready put up signs an­nounc­ing the clo­sure though the rea­son cited was that their busi­nesses have been af­fected by the e-com­merce boom.

There are cur­rently about 300 stalls still open for busi­ness in the mar­ket, with al­most all of them hav­ing clear­ance sales. Many of the own­ers are still await­ing the re­fund of their two-month rent de­posits.

“The 10-year leas­ing con­tracts signed be­tween the com­pany and most of the stalls will end at the end of June,” said Yu Min­qiu, a shop owner in the plaza who has been sell­ing fake sports team jerseys for six years.

“I still have about 2,000 jerseys left to sell. I will sell each for 20 yuan but I don’t know whether I can even sell all of them be­fore the clo­sure, which still is not con­firmed by the com­pany.”

The four- story build­ing lo­cated in West Nan­jing Road has been a fa­mous tourist at­trac­tion in the past decade. Here, vis­i­tors can find all sorts of fake prod­ucts in­clud­ing art pieces, ap­parel, elec­tron­ics,

“Many for­eign­ers, par­tic­u­larly stu­dents like my­self, rely on these places for cheap goods. It is a shame that the place will be clos­ing down,” said Richard Brit­ton, a Pana­ma­nian stu­dent from the Univer­sity of Nottingham Ningbo China who of­ten vis­its Shanghai to shop at Hancity.

This is not the first time that the lo­cal govern­ment has clamped down on coun­ter­feit goods in the city. In 2006, the Xiangyang Road Mar­ket faced a sim­i­lar fate.

Ac­cord­ing to the Shanghai In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Court, one in six law­suits re­ceived by the court in 2015 in­volved an over­seas party and most of them were lux­ury brands such as Burberry, Louis Vuit­ton, Gucci as well as For­tune 500 com­pa­nies such as Gen­eral Elec­tric, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. The for­eign com­pa­nies that were su­ing for trade­mark or patent in­fringe­ments came from 15 coun­tries and re­gions, in­clud­ing the United States, Ger­many, France, Italy, Ja­pan, Hong Kong and Tai­wan.

Es­tab­lished in De­cem­ber 2014 to strengthen the man­age­ment of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty dis­putes, the Shanghai In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Court re­ceived more than 1,640 cases in 2015, a yearly jump of nearly 127 per­cent.

Vice president of the court, Li Shu­lan, said that IP cases have surged more than 20 per­cent year-on-year in re­cent years.

YU RAN / CHINA DAILY

Most of the shops in Hancity will be closed by the end of June.

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