Fake Olympic goods

The World

Visitors can’t stroll far into Tiananmen Square before someone approaches trying to sell various items. This woman has Olympic mascot keychains and she insists they’re not fake. Fake or not, she’s not supposed to be selling them; Olympic merchandise is supposed to be sold only in official shops as part of the promise the Chinese government made to protect the Olympic Games. But honoring that commitment has proven difficult in a country where patents and copyrights are seldom honored. In this one market, it’s easy to find scores of knock off bags and purses, all are counterfeit, and that’s after a recent government clean up in preparation for the Olympics. Another seller complains they’re not allowed to sell anything right now, but she says it’ll go back to normal after the Olympics. I asked one woman selling t-shirts and she gives me a business card when I name a larger number. When I talk to her again two days later, she pulls aside the t-shirts at her stand. So counterfeit products are harder to find, but not eradicated, but probably more work than most tourists would want to put in.

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