In an ocean of imitations, how to protect your product when doing business in China
by Sherri Miles for Suffolk Business magazine
Whether you’re on Canal Street in New York City or Nanjing Road in Shanghai, utter the right brand name and you can be deep in the basement of a hair salon, snack house, or t-shirt shop in a room bursting with fake bags and watches. In China, however, it doesn’t stop there: knockoffs are haggled over in open “fake markets,” sold in malls with spinoff storefronts—Buckstar coffee, Pizza Huh, Hike—and hawked on Taobao, China’s eBay, often for one-tenth of the price of the real product. Doing business in a country that tolerates counterfeits, knockoffs, and lookalikes can seem daunting, but with the right preparation, a brand can compete for real in the fastest-growing economy in the world.