Made in America, Faked in China

The online WSJ has a great article right now–apparently certain Chinese businesses are making the leap from bootleg goods to bootleg stores altogether!

From the journal:

Imitation retailers and restaurants aren’t new in China, but analysts and executives say they have proliferated in recent years. The trend reflects growing awareness of the importance of things like design and customer experience among entrepreneurs in China, where people long ago perfected the art of making imitation goods but where companies have been less successful building their own consumer brands, said Wei Xiaopo, an analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets.

“Chinese companies know that service and experience have become among the most critical parts of branding for businesses that operate in China,” said Mr. Wei.

While China is hardly the only country to have problems with commercial fakery, what happens here now matters enormously for multinational companies, because China is the world’s most important growth market for consumer goods. Retail spending is expected to reach 27.4 trillion yuan ($4.3 trillion) by 2015, up by more than two thirds from the level last year, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.

Is this the future in counterfeiting? Have a look at the original article, which has a great spread of photo comparisons between authentic stores and their imitation counterparts.

–Adam I. W. Schwartzman