China’s latest copy­cat vic­tim is US be­he­moth Gold­man Sachs

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

A staffer at a Chi­nese fi­nance com­pany named Gold­man Sachs said any sim­i­lar­ity to the multi­bil­lion-dol­lar U.S. in­vest­ment gi­ant was un­in­ten­tional Thurs­day, weeks af­ter a Chi­nese man was ar­rested for set­ting up a fake bank branch.

Gold­man Sachs ( Shen­zhen) Fi­nan­cial Leas­ing Co., op­er­at­ing in the south­ern boom­town next to Hong Kong, has an al­most iden­ti­cal name to New York-based fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion, Gold­man Sachs Group Inc.

“We don’t have any con­nec­tion with the U.S. Gold­man Sachs,” a woman who an­swered the com­pany’s listed phone num­ber told AFP.

“We just picked the name out, and it’s not in­ten­tion­ally the same,” she added, be­fore hang­ing up.

The com­pany uses the same Chi­nese char­ac­ters as Gold­man Sachs does of­fi­cially in the coun­try, the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy.

Shen­zhen’s Gold­man Sachs was ex­posed by a let­ter sent by a U.S. casino work­ers union to main­land Chi­nese anti-cor­rup­tion of­fi­cials ask­ing them to in­ves­ti­gate the firm, Bloomberg News re­ported.

The Chi­nese firm’s English font is evoca­tive of the U.S. bank’s, Bloomberg re­ported, la­belling the com­pany a “pi­rate” ver­sion of Gold­man Sachs.

The news came af­ter a 39-yearold man in eastern China was ar­rested ear­lier this month for set­ting up a fake branch of China Con­struc­tion Bank, in­clud­ing card read­ers, teller coun­ters and signs, ac­cord­ing to state-run media.

Duped “cus­tomers” were able to hand over money to make sup­posed de­posits into their ac­counts, but were re­fused with­drawals, re­ports said.

En­force­ment of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty laws in China is re­garded as lax, with sev­eral for­eign firms pre­vi­ously em­broiled in court cases over im­i­ta­tors.

Bas­ket­ball star Michael Jor­dan last month lost a case against a Chi­nese sports­wear com­pany that used the Chi­nese ver­sion of his name.

Ap­ple Inc. paid US$60 mil­lion to set­tle a trade­mark dis­pute with a Chi­nese com­pany that had ap­plied to block the sale of iPad com­puter tablets in 2012.

A Hong Kong-based spokes­woman for the U.S. in­vest­ment bank Gold­man Sachs de­nied any ties with the Shen­zhen com­pany to Bloomberg and said it was “look­ing into the mat­ter.”

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