Fake Market in Shanghai?

On my way back from my friend’s new apartment, I heard interesting conversation between a foreign women and her friends. They talked about the “fake market” in Shanghai. They were very excited, that obviously, they found the new fake market after Xiangyang market was closed. They happily bought some fake goods there.

Well. Xiangyang Market is shutdown

, but the fake good store owners are always able to find places to continue their business, and more interestingly, customers (including foreign customers) seem to be good at finding them out, quickly.

People Do Search for “Fake Market”

The search for “Fake market in Shanghai” continues on Internet. In the first 6 months of 2006, 533 people searched “fake market shanghai“, or terms like this, and got to this site.

fake+market+shanghai 188

shanghai+fake+market 167

shanghai fake market 65

fake market shanghai 54

shanghai+fake 17

shanghai+fakes 16

fake+market+in+shanghai 16

shanghai+fake+goods 10

Beside that, 2360 searched for “Xiangyang” market.

Embarassing to be Fake Market Online…

When I talked about Xiang Yang Market two and half years ago, I called it “the Shopping Paradise“. At that time, as an idoit of cloth, and brand, I categorized the “famous brands” in the market into two type: out-of-factory price genuie goods, and fake goods. Later, more and more report reveals most goods are fake… I seemed to make a mistake then.

After that, the page is the first result in Google for any search for “xiangyang market”, even the city name “xiangyang”, and “fake market in Shanghai”. I just found out the page now is the No. 1 result for the term “fake market” in Google (even without ‘Shanghai’). Hmmm. It is not good. So just want to post a disclaimer here, that I am not a supporter, or promoter for fake good deals. Anyway, Xiangyang market is gone. I still miss the good price, good quality of goods, but don’t miss too much on the fake stuff.

P.S. Google Analytics Told the Story

Google Analytics is a good product. I started tracking traffic using Google Analytics from Nov, 2005, but didn’t check their report carefully. They have only Executive review by default, so I even didn’t know they have many more reports and in depth reports available. Today, I checked and found out interesting paterns people searches in Google and visited my site, and found out the story.

46 thoughts on “Fake Market in Shanghai?

  1. Everytime I visited the fake markets, I feel sadden for the manufacturers of China.

    Most of the faked apparel and soft goods I saw are of excellent quality, both material and craftsmanship. Many authentic brand name owners were amazed of the skill of Chinese seamstress. Not surprisingly, many brand name apparel were and is being made in China by the Chinese garment manufacturers.

    I am amazed why Chinese manufacturers little is investing into designs and marketing and create their own brand, and let the foreign brand owners pocket the profit.

  2. Exactly. My belief is, they just need time to get stronger, and get more exposed to the design and brand’s benifit to them, and they can rise up.

  3. I’ve also thought that the Chinese manufacturers should use the skills they have to create their own brand and therefore most of the profit is pocketed domestically, but actually the truth is that most people in Shanghai do not want to buy a local product. Perhaps the media has given us the impression that foreign is the way to go. Hopefully this will change some day soon.

  4. Timberline !

    A story :

    I was in San fransisco in California, US in 1990.

    I found a “bargain”, a Timberline shoe, down 50% to 50US$.

    WOW, excellent American quality for just 50US$ !!!

    I have been wearing the shoes occasionally, but when I went to China in 2002, one guy told me to look inside my shoes…

    Made i China !

    And that was in 1990.

    These days, goods made by private companies in China usually

    are VERY good value for money !

    But, all that comes from state owned companies should be really cheap,

    as the quality really sucks !

    (Said from a quality supervisor in Chinese companies, so believe it)

  5. carsten, Timberline is a brand owned by a company from Hong Kong selling cheap imitations, I presumed you are referring to Timberland. Nevertheless, Timberland has also moved the famous sailing shoes and hiking boots production to China from ’98 in view of low production cost.

  6. my opinion remain as long brand items are keeping trading their products from 6 to sometime 20 times higher the proper retail market value of the product there will be always a fake market, the same remain for dvd and software, the real cost are much cheaper but firms, brands enjoy huge profit, and some of those big brands often ar eaccused of subcontract their production to South American, or Asian local factories who use child labour or slavish conditions for employes, therefore i welcome always a fake market, as its needed to counter big brands and firms trading arrogance.

    still dont knwo where is the new fake market anyone may tell me ? going to holiday soon and wish to take the usual presents to friends


  7. hi wangjianshuo,

    i’ve lurked on your blog for a while and i was wondering if you had offered up any advice to some commenters earlier asking about the prospects for work visas/settlement for skilled Filipino workers interested in China. i’m currently in USA but most of my family in the philippines who have training as engineers, computer entrepreneurs, doctors and nurses want to work in China instead– it’s much closer, more cultural ties and much more affordable.

    they’ve been learning Chinese at the Mandarin language schools in manila and quezon city mostly and two of them are almost fluent. one of my nephews is interested in studying in China, others just want to work there for a while.

    it makes sense for China to sharply restrict unskilled immigrants from the Philippines who can’t contribute to the economy. but the skilled immigrants from Philippines and other Asian countries can contribute a lot and help to rapidly build the Chinese economy in areas like high-tech, pharmaceuticals and medicine. does China have a special visa program to facilitate work permits for skilled Asian workers like this? i thought you indeed had such a program but i don’t know how to advise my family members on it. thanks for any help.


  8. Recently I got into ‘audio recording’ and learned that there are even copies of famous and expensive German or Russian ( Oktava Brand ) microphones made in China. Later some american produsers started to manufacture in China ( Sound Projects ) and as more and more expertise has been aquired own chinese brands developed, like e.g SE Electronics in Shanghai.

    In a few days, on aug 4th i will arrive in shanghai, it will be my very first visit to China. I am curious if I can find good, hopefully cheap microphones or other small, special electronics ( very much I’s like to find a small mic preamp ) in Shanghai.

    Does anybody know which is the best place to get these kind of items in Shanghai?

  9. Mostly to Stephen,

    This is exactly WHY China has to be stronger in enforcing intellectual property protection. Why are those high-quality Chinese manufacturers turning out fake foreign brands? Because they’ll sell more. If the government was strict in enforcing IP laws, those same manufacturers would turn out the same product with Chinese brand names… and slowly, over time, some of those brands would become well known.

    What would happen if one of those manufacturers decided to spend some money on r&d and market their own wares under their own brand name? If they did well, other Chinese factories would start counterfeiting their brand. Happens to all the big Chinese cigarette manufacturers.

    Here’s some history. At the dawn of US IP law, the US did not protect the copyright on works that were published first overseas. Although this was intended to bias towards American writers, it had the opposite effect. No American publishers would pay an American writer when he could pirate the work of British writers. Thus, American creativity suffered.

    Until China protects ALL IP, we won’t see Chinese brands grow and prosper as they deserve to.


  10. Yes Stephen, it is Timberland, of course. And these sailing shoes were made in China in 1990 or before.

  11. Roberto, I am afraid I have no idea about visa, expecially applying Chinese visa from other countries. All the information I have are the same as othes – search in Google and read articles. So I don’t want to try to answer questions I have no idea, especially those I have no PERSONAL experiences with.

  12. tek, the mic story could be an example of how it could work:

    first they copied internat. brands, later brands started to produce in China without hiding the fact, later Chinese brands evolved. – Though I have to admit that there are already copies of the SE electronic mics out by now which prooves your point.

  13. Many of the shops from Xiang Yang Market have moved or are moving to the Science & Technology Museum subway stop on Metro line two. It is actually undeground inside the station entrance.


  14. Yes, carsten, now more than half of the footwear across the world are made by China, but none bears the home brand, very sad!

    Last Feb when I visited the xy market, I saw a lighter made in a shape of match stick, beige body with red tip, I bought it at rmb7 per piece for 20 pieces. Two weeks later during the month when I attended the trade show at Las Vegas, I saw the same lighter was selling for US$8.99+tax and was selling fast. From xy market to Las Vegas stripe, the same lighter can appreciate 10 folds. Incredible!

    NB – airliners does not accept lighters on board as baggage, do not attempt!

  15. my latest shopping of japanese branded electronics here in Japan:

    1 Panasonic CD/mp3 portable player, 1 small 1 GB, 1 big 20 GB iRiver mp3 player, 1 ext. harddisc casing,..ALL of them, including their power adapters, say: ‘made in China’

  16. Yes, you have to be careful.

    I bought a video camera two years ago in the Hualian Mall at Nanjingdonglu.

    Behind a glass was a nice Sony video camera. I asked to take a look, and I noted

    the label in the bottom said that it was “Made in Japan”.

    Then I negotiated the price and got a camera in a box.

    At home I unpacked it and now the label said “Made in China”.

    Then I went back to the shop and pointed out the camera in the display, and showed my camera. “I want a similar camera as the one in the display”, I said.

    Then they told me to pay 500RMB more, because it was Made in Japan.

    At that time I asked for the manager to attend.

    After an hour and a half, they agreed to change it, but then the guarantee would only be possible to claim in the same Mall, nowhere else. For me no problem.

    The guarantee is ONLY valid in China, when you buy anything.

    There is no such thing as “International Guarantee” if you buy your stuff in China.

    So remember, always unpack all parts and check them before final payment.

  17. All the items I had listed I had bought in Japan..and they they were all ‘officially’ made in China.

    I am curious though: The mall you mentioned must be a good place to pick up eletronics then? I am not interested in ‘international’ brands though, I can get them better here in Japan. But I wonder where I can buy chinese branded Microphones and, hopefully, a Mic. preamp in Shanghai. Any suggestion where to find these? ( coming friday I will arrive in Shangahi and it will be my very first time in mainland China! )

  18. Andreas,

    I’ve been to a few of those Malls when I was in Shanghai, you can find them near Huai Hai Lu (the middle section, for some reason I always forget what ‘middle’ is in Chinese lol) for example. I don’t know the exact street anymore but they called it ‘Hong Kong Plaza’ (or so my friends did who live there, among them are some Shanghainese people so I think it is the right name, not sure though) or something similar. Another large one can be found near the twin-tower of the Grant Gateway in Xujiahui.. Cao Xi Lu I think the streetname was but I’m unsure about that atm..

    But, like Carsten said.. when you buy electronics in China, there is almost zero to no guarantuee that you can bring it back to a store in your own country. Even bringing the stuff back to the same store, when something is wrong, can be a pain in the ass… one of my friends bought something in such a mall and it took us about 2 hours to get the stuff traded in for some good and working articles.

    Also, remember that not everything in electronics is cheaper over there. When I looked at the laptops, for example, I noticed that a lot of laptops have the same prices, or even higher, as they have in Europe and they are almost all of last years models.. If it would be for something like that, I’d say you would be better off in your own country.

  19. thank’ a lot Jie Lun. I shall check out these places.

    No, I do not want to buy a notebook, I’d very likely be better off buying it in Japan ( where I am now ) or Europe ( where I am from and will be again end of oct. )

    I also just found what I most wanted here in Japan: It is a Microphomne amplifier and even though it is made from an internationally well known japanese brand it actually says printed on it: ‘made in china’.

    It is a product for a special target group only and I think I will have some friends interested to buy the same, but I do not have time to go back to downtown Osaka to buy more as I am leaving for Shanghai tomorrow. Do you think such an item can be found in Shanghai, or do items made from international brands manufactured in China get shipped overseas directly only without ever hitting the chinese market?

  20. Andreas,

    About the following:

    “Do you think such an item can be found in Shanghai, or do items made from international brands manufactured in China get shipped overseas directly only without ever hitting the chinese market?”

    I am actually not sure about this actually. I think the best thing to do is just to go those places and look for it yourself ;) I know, it’s a lame answer but I really don’t know about it. Maybe someone else who knows?

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    Location: Qingpu District, Shanghai

    We provide every participant free lunch and dinner, free transportation, free accident insurance.

    If you’re interested in this activity, Please mail to me: Hankong_Sh@yahoo.com.cn

    We’ll send the Invitation Letter to you!

  22. Hi! I’m coming through to Shanghai next week can you please tell me of a place that has reasonable prices for Mp 4’s and if Shanghai is the place to get such products or can you all recommend where to go.

  23. I am traveling w/a group to Shanghai in April 2007. I had been to

    Xingyang Market 5 years ago and really enjoyed it.

    Please advise if there has been anything done to replace it.

    Thanks as I’d like my friends to experience this.

  24. Jie Lun thank you very much for all your advices.

    I have been to the various places and others. I find that e.g. at Hongkong Plaza laptops, hndphones and PCs can be had for good prizes, but that besides these products the choice of international brands is quite limited, and that generally internationally branded electronics made in China must get shipped out directly without ever making it to the chinese market. E.g. all the microphones and related articels which I know are made in China are not available anywhere.

    Kenneth, there are many quite cheap chinese mp3 and mp4 players, a popular 1 GB mp4 player costs about 450 RMB. though I do not remember it’s brand name. 1 GB may be max. capacity, there might be a 2 GB model though, but rarely at display. They can be found at Hongkong Plaza but also pretty much at any department store throughout Shanghai. I can’t comment much on their general quality e.g. sound as I tested two or three at the shoponly where is was very loud, but the quality of their display is very poor.

    Ipods are also readily available, an 1 GB – what is the name of the model again, the smallest one without any display, – was offered to me for as low as 320 RMB, but I think they are copied. not original products. Many small stalls in a building at the crossing of Central Fuxing Rd. and South Xiang Yang Rd. south of Central Huaihai Rd.

    Other international brands hardly to be found but some Samsungs.

  25. WJS… I mentioned a few weeks ago that many of the shops “were moving or moving to” the Science and Technology Museum subway stop. You had replied that you did not see it.

    I went back there again a few days ago and it is definitely not only there, but bigger than when I last visited it.

    When you ge to to Century Square enter the NORTH subway station entrance (the South one leads yuou to the “legit” part of the undeerground mall). When you get down the escalator you can’t miss it. Lot’s of foreigners doing some shopping and the touts trying to sell fake watches, bags, jeans, golf clubs and the whole nine yards.

    It certainly is nicer than the old market on Xiang Yang Lu because it is underground and airconditioned. Also it is not nearly as crowded as the old place.

    Check it out the next time you are there on a weekend… just follow the foreigners :-)


  26. hi i think the market is moved to a place called jinghuei road, i had been there a couple of weeks, and almost all the shops are here, they are now in a four floored airconditioned hypermart kind of stuff.

  27. Hi shopper

    Thanks for the information and confirmation of the place of Xiang Yang market . But kindly confirm if the Jinghuei road is surface road name of the Science and Technology Museum subway stop


  28. Where I can get a fake DVD 9 in Shanghai, I can not get it at Science and Technology Museum subway stop.

  29. In Shanghai you have to look for an hotel near the subway, ideal if you look for some near the People Square, cause there you can choose from line 1 or 2 if you want to go to fake market you choose line 2 and down on Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Station and you will find the fake Market with direct acces from the subway. If you want to go to the electronic Market (a full building with 6 floor of just electronic articles) you take line 1 and down Xujiahui Station and you will find the Electronic articles Building with direct acces from the subway. Even in diferents station of the line two you can find touristic atractions as Oriental Pearl and many others. If you Arrive at Pudong Airport the most easy is go on the MAGLEV TRAIN (it is a magnetic levitation train who runs at 430 KM/H and the station is conected with the airport) until the line 2 of subway and then go to People Square station and look for the hotel. Have a nice trip good Luck

  30. It’s kind of funny that the author of this site even admits that he/she was unable to differentiate the difference between the “fake” products and the “real” products. The truth is that the only difference is a licensing agreement. The so called “fake” items are oftentimes better quality than the store bought items. They are the same material and the workmanship is just as good. Also, if you are buying clothing, then you will notice that the unlicensed products have not been handled by store employees or tried on by customers. They usually come mint condition in the bag. Finally, the so called “fake” products are about 80% lower than the prices of the same thing in the malls. Yes! It is the same thing. I spoke to a represented of Ralph Lauren once and they admitted to me that the “knock-offs” were the same thing, however, their customers would not buy if the price was that low. There you have it! It is all psychological. Let’s face it…there is only so much value that you can add to a cotton shirt or leather purse before the price becomes ridiculous. If you are buying the “real” products in the mall then you are getting ripped off.

  31. I have been to this market at tehScience & Technology Market the so called fake market of Shanghai. It was a different experience. First daY I went to buy ties as I forget to take mine alongwith me and needed a few for my meetings there.

    Offere at 50 RMB a piece got them at 30 RMB, but the next time i went there with my collegues I could bargain at 10 RMB a piece now that are the rates for ties and if yo can bargain u can lower the prices.

    We baought trolley bags for 100 RMB, shirts for 40 RMB, fake purses for 60 – 70 RMB. They will quote very high but drop it to around 20% of the cost. The sales girls can be quite pusuasive and will pull ur arm to convince u, call u a handsome man and a friend – anything to make a sale, but it is a good experience.

    Shopping on weekdays is better. The ties are good though inexpensive.

  32. Hi, i am a student conducting an economic research on “what motivate people to buy fake branded products?”. Base on what James had commented previously, that a representative of Ralph Lauren admitted “their customers would not buy if the price was that low” mean that the theory of veblen goods exist? However thinking about it, how many people would actually want to buy a good more as the price of the good increases? (would that be sensible at all?) Like an iPhone for example, no one will buy it if it has a price of 1000 dollar HKD but will buy it if it cost 8000HKD? So what is it that motivate people to buy these branded goods, if rating it out of 1 to 7 scale (1 being most likely reason), vice versa.

    a) In your view, rate the following factor as reasons why people buy fake branded goods.(i.e. branded handbag – Chanel)

    i. cheap

    ii. impress others

    iii. increase social status

    iv. cannot afford real one

    v. good quality for relative cheap price

    vi. real branded good not reasonable in price (not worth the money)

    vii. poor life expectancy (i.e. fashion trend)

  33. Guys I would be going to Shanghai next week (18th Jan, 09) and Im curious to know about the places where I can get the original as well as cheaper electronic goods. Hope im not asking for too much. Please help me guys.

  34. hi i want to know the addres of the fake market in china and i want to know also were u buy the desighner jackets in china for cheap priace can u people please help me were to go thanks all .

  35. If you want to buy anything garmet related, go to Qi Pu Lu. Any taxi driver knows Qi Pu Lu。。。good luck and bargain HARD

  36. Oi estou entrando em contato para oferecer serviço de hospedagem para seu site temos planos apartir de R$10,00 caso queira um plano maior pode entrar em contato por email, todos nossos servidores de hospedagem tem transferencia ilimitadas. Suporte 24Hs por E-mail.

    Aguardo o contato mesmo que negativo obrigado.

    Grato pela atenção

    Ass. Evandro Camargo


    Gerente de vendas


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