Until not so long ago China’s domestic consumer market was dominated by fake products. But the sentiment has changed at the consumers go for real, tells author Shaun Rein of “The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World” in the Shanghai Daily.
The Shanghai Daily:
The closure of Shanghai’s famous Xiangyang Road market in 2005 ripped the beating heart out of the city’s counterfeit world. Since then operations have been relegated to a few choice spots, an underground station in Pudong or the backstreets of Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall.
While foreigners still flock to buy fakes, there are signs of changing attitudes among Chinese consumers who prefer the genuine article. A survey last year by China Market Research, a leading research firm in Shanghai, found that 95 percent of Chinese women between 28 and 35 said they would be embarrassed to carry counterfeit handbags.
“It’s a question of money. Consumers don’t really like counterfeit products right now – it’s really that they buy it because they don’t have money and as soon as they have enough they buy the real thing,” says Shaun Rein, author of “The End of Cheap China” and managing director of China Market Research.
“Five years ago they would mix and match a real LV handbag with fake accessories, now they are going for real goods. Slowly we are going to see fakes disappearing. It’s always going to sell to foreigners, and counterfeit DVDs or Ralph Lauren polo shirts will keep going because they are easy to replicate. But no one’s talking about fake luxury – if it’s finely woven leather or PVC you can tell the difference,” Rein adds.
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