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Beware This Hairy Crab Season: 99% of Yangcheng Crabs Are Fake

Posted: 10/13/2014 9:45 am

hairy crabFoodies in China can now add the famous Lake Yangcheng hairy crab to the long list of faked food items on sale in the country. For every 300 Lake Yangcheng hairy crabs that are sold, only one is authentic.

The distinguishing characteristics of a hairy crab include a green shell, pale belly, golden hairs and claws. However, counterfeiters now use chemicals to give makeovers to normal crabs to resemble the prized Yangcheng ones. When plastic authentication rings were added to distinguish fakes from the real deal, wily counterfeiters simply copied the rings.

plastic authenticating ring hairy crabThe report coincides with the arrival of hairy crab season in Shanghai, where it is a local delicacy. While it’s a shame that some consumers may never come to savor a true Lake Yangcheng hairy crab, retailers selling the authentic product find themselves being squeezed out by counterfeiters.

Fu Zecheng, chairman of the Jiangsu Lake Yangcheng Hairy Crab Marketing Co, complains that counterfeiters have successfully copied every method marketers have used to authenticate their crabs. Fu is considering adding a second authentication ring but he questions how well it will work, “How can you prove to consumers that what you are selling is the real deal?” said Fu.

plastic authenticating ring hairy crab

Crab isn’t the only fake menu item being sold to consumers. A recent report revealed that many restaurants in China are passing off beef skewers as lamb to consumers who can’t tell the difference. While the report initially came to light last summer, a university student gave the story new traction last month after determining through DNA tests that only 20 percent of lamb skewers are actually lamb.

Whether crab or otherwise, it would appear that as long as there is a dollar to be made counterfeiting goods, there will be counterfeiters willing to do it.


Photos: iFeng, CCTV, KS News


US Angry Over Proliferation of Chinese-Made Fake ID Cards

Posted: 09/26/2014 9:02 am

us counterfeit id chinese madeUS officials are incensed over expertly-crafted, Chinese-made counterfeit identification cards they say are threatening the country’s security.

China has produced fake US ID cards for some time, but the country’s counterfeiters are getting better and better at their craft. A shipment of fake ID cards was recently seized by US customs agents, reported China Daily. The expertly-made forgeries were hidden in tea containers or jewelry boxes, and spread throughout several hundred cases.

The driver’s licenses are made in China and described as “authentic-looking”. Each counterfeit ID is worth $150 (RMB 920).

An official from Illinois expressed his outrage, saying something has to be done:

Reporter: When you look at the fakes that are coming in now, what’s your reaction?
Official: I’m amazed by it.
Reporter: This isn’t just forgery and fraud, there’s also a homeland security issue here too.
Official: That’s why I’m not going to stand idly by and allow this activity to continue without doing something about it.

When authentic-looking Chinese-made fake IDs were found in the USA in 2012, David Huff with Virginia’s Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control called them ”an affront to the very sovereignty and dignity of the states that issue them.”

A year before that In 2011, an officer from the Arizona Department of Public Safety called the Chinese-made ID cards “a national security threat”.

Still, it appears there is little the US government can do to stem the black market for counterfeit identification, said to be worth $100 million. Andrew Meehan, a policy analyst for the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, said:

Short of filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization, the request has to be made to the Chinese government.

obama fake id cardChinese netizens are proud of the country’s shanzhai culture that has produced countless counterfeit products:


The great home of counterfeits

The certification industry has finally gone international…

From out of the country, and into the world.

Even Alibaba, the e-commerce behemoth that recently listed in New York, is able to openly sell fake IDs on its e-commerce website — in English, no less.

alibaba fake id identificationPhotos: China Daily, mident solutions, Alibaba screenshot, What’s on Xiamen


Chinese Students Hiding Cell Phones in Oxford Dictionary Covers

Posted: 09/24/2014 3:45 pm

oxford faux dictionary cellphone coverGenerations of counterfeit culture have culminated in this.

China has come up with the perfect way to disguise a cellphone for use during class: use a faux cell phone cover that looks exactly like an Oxford pocket dictionary, reports Southern Daily.

oxford faux dictionary cellphone cover

What’s lost on these students is… does anyone use an actual printed dictionary anymore?

oxford faux dictionary cellphone cover

Netizens provide their comments on this new product:

This can only be used during English class.

Do you take your teacher for an idiot? While the teacher is giving his lesson on the podium, you’ve got either a cell phone or a dictionary in your hands. It’s so obvious at with one glance.

Gosh, now I want one too!

Not a bad idea.

Hee hee, and now I know. [nefarious.emoji]

Young people will be ruined by cell phones! It’s like a drug!

Bad influence

Whatever the motivation was of the people that designed this, this remains a disappointment.

Previously, student would have to dig out a hole in a real dictionary to hide their phones in. [laugh.emoji]

oxford faux dictionary cellphone coveroxford faux dictionary cellphone coverUnfortunately, using a dictionary cover to wrap around your phone will make it much harder to take selfies in mirrors, so it could be that carrying around a fabrication of a dictionary may prove to be a good influence in the end.

oxford faux dictionary cellphone coverPhotos: Southern Daily, Guangzhou Daily


The RMB 1 Billion Mecca of Fake LV Bags Busted in Guangzhou

Posted: 09/22/2014 6:34 pm
Knockoff bag handbag guangzhou counterfeit shanzhai fake luxury

Scenes from an undercover report on counterfeit handbag factories in May.

China is the undisputed king when it comes to making fake items, be they fake photos, salt, Viagra, drugs, or even policemen. But there’s one fake item China really excels at producing: fake handbags.

Police in Guangzhou have announced that they have busted the mother of all fake Louis Vuitton handbag rings worth RMB 1 billion, reported QQ News. The criminal ring utilized an official-looking website to sell counterfeit versions of LV bags to foreign consumers.

Fourteen suspects have been arrested and six factories that featured up to 27 production lines have been shut down.

The gang had 494 half-completed products, around 11,000 finished products complete with stamped LV logos in storage, and another 18,000 processed leather items.

READ: Fake Designer Bag Workshops Thrive in Guangzhou,
Protected by Officials

Earlier in May, a report detailed how one counterfeit luxury handbag factory was able to produce more than 100 fake Prada bags per day and sell over 3,000 fake bags every month to earn revenue worth several hundred million yuan a year.

The counterfeit handbag factory is comprised of a sophisticated apprentice program where workers master the ability to create one part of the fake handbag, and then teach the skill to another worker.


Photo: Guangzhou Daily 


Newspaper Blows Lid Off Fake Lamb Skewer Industry In China

Posted: 08/6/2014 4:08 pm

lamb skewers kebabs barbecue

A newspaper in China has done an extensive undercover investigation into the ubiquitous lamb skewers (or chuanr) sold on street corners in nearly every city in China.  The goal was to determine if the tender meat-on-a-stick was actually lamb, as we’re led to believe. Unsurprisingly, the paper got a clear answer: they’re nearly all fake.

The Changzhutan Report sent a reporter behind the scenes at several popular barbecue places in Lusong District in the City of Zhuzhou, Hunan Province and found a conspiracy that was as widespread as it was readily admitted.

Many Zhuzhou diners frequent the barbecue vendors that congregate in Xiajiaqiao where some 20 to 30 vendors are squeezed together, similar to what they do over in Hejiatu, another part of the city. And yet, while there’s no shortage of customers, nobody seems concerned the price for beef and lamb skewers are exactly the same, despite having very different prices when purchased as raw ingredients.

Anyone who might be concerned would just have to ask to get an answer. The undercover reporter is told straight-up what the deal is:

No one sells lamb; here we just sell beef.

The taste of beef is masked by marinating and seasoning it with lamb flavoring agents. She said it should be obvious to customers they aren’t eating lamb, as both lamb and beef skewers are on sale for the same price: 1.5 yuan each.

lamb skewers kebabs barbecue

To emphasize her point, a man barbecuing nearby said:

Any place that sells lamb skewers have altered the meat by sprinkling it with lamb seasoning and all sorts of stuff.

“All sorts of stuff” probably doesn’t leave diners with much confidence. A vendor at another barbecue stall admits:

Everything has been altered; if it hasn’t been altered and doesn’t have the taste, who will want to eat it?

A third vendor tries to be objective by saying:

(The wholesaler) told me this is lamb meat. If you were to ask me if this is really lamb meat, I couldn’t tell you.

However, she then justifies the business decision of falsifying her products to her customers by saying:

Calculate how much beef costs versus how much lamb costs.

In other words, it’s not the vendor’s fault, right? Over in Hejiatu, the proprietor of another popular barbecue place simplifies it for us even more:

Lamb skewers, beef skewers, it’s all the same: beef.

lamb skewers kebabs barbecue

The investigation also went beyond the vendors to look more closely at the wholesalers. At the Jianning Farmers’ Market in Zhuzhou, there are two cold storehouses selling meat. A representative at the Jianning Cold Warehouse said:

All lamb skewers right now are not real. There aren’t any real lamb skewers anymore.

Normally wholesalers apparently put beef into two identical bags, but one is marked lamb and the other beef. The bags marked lamb are only meant to be used as skewers and sold to the public.

lamb skewers kebabs barbecue

Over at Baoqing Cold Warehouse, the city’s other meat wholesaler, the reporter discovers bags marked either lamb skewers or beef skewers, but both have the same price at 16 yuan. However, a different 2.5 kg bag of lamb costs 160 yuan because it contains “real lamb”. That, unfortunately, won’t be used for skewers.

So should you care that your lamb is actually beef? A Baoqing Cold Warehouse staffer said it makes no difference:

At any rate, it’s all fake, but it will have (lamb flavor) just the same.

Judging by the continued crowds at barbecue stalls in China, people seem to agree with him.

lamb skewers kebabs barbecue


Photo: China News, Openrice, tupian99, 520bbq, duitang, the Nanfang


Guangdong Police Find RMB 127 Million In Counterfeit Bills

Posted: 08/1/2014 4:39 pm

fake banknotes guangdong counterfeit billsEverything seems to be faked these days in China, and there might be nothing more lucrative than faking money itself.

Guangdong Public Security Bureau Deputy Director He Guangping explained that his department was responsible for seizing a grand total of 127 million yuan worth of counterfeit banknotes, reports Xinhua. The seizures were made at three different places from January to June of this year. Fifty-seven people were arrested as part of the stings.

fake banknotes guangdong counterfeit bills

There is an easy way to tell if Chinese currency is counterfeit. When examining a real 100 renminbi note, the “100″ located near the banknote’s serial number will appear green when looking at it head-on. However, when looking at it at an angle, this same “100″ will change to become dark blue. If it doesn’t, somebody managed to pass you a fake bill.

fake banknotes guangdong counterfeit bills

Photos: Xinhua, People’s Daily


Fake Olive Oil Sold Around China From Unlicensed Guangzhou Factory

Posted: 07/28/2014 11:50 am

guangzhou fake olive oilThe Pearl River Delta has seen its share of “fake foods”, and now there’s another item to add to the infamous list: fake imported olive oil.

An undercover investigation by Southern Report found that the Yimaisi Trading Company of Guangzhou has been selling bottles of Finca olive oil, advertised as an ”authentic Spanish import”, by falsely substituting other kinds of oil produced in underground workshops around Guangzhou.

Informant Mr Wang gave the reporter access to the factory, where he saw labels with expiry dates that were torn off and replaced with new labels with expiry dates set far in the future. As well, other kinds of olive oil past their due dates were passed off as authentic Finca olive oil.

guangzhou fake olive oil

It turns out besides selling fake olive oil, the Yimaisi Trading Company doesn’t even have a valid operating license. Still, the company sold more than 81,500 bottles of the counterfeit product to Guangzhou, Beijing, Changsha and Chengdu.

On July 23, the Guangzhou Food and Drug Inspection Bureau and Guangzhou police raided on one of the “black workshops” that produce the fake olive oil.

guangzhou fake olive oilguangzhou fake olive oilguangzhou fake olive oilguangzhou fake olive oil


Photos: China Daily


[Photos] A Whole Mall in China Dedicated to Fake Brand Names

Posted: 07/11/2014 9:03 am

sichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signsA brand name makes things better, doesn’t it? Why buy generic when you can put your trust in a prestigious, well-known brand?

A vacant retail space in Chengdu, Sichuan, agrees. But it seems no well-known brands have decided to rent space in the mall yet, so the mall went ahead and used the next best thing: fake brand names and logos.

So to help draw attention to the vacant retail lots still awaiting their first client, the 300 meter long street is adorned with brand names that seem oddly familiar.

sichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signs

Not pictured are a sign with the “M” logo from McDonald’s turned upside down into a “W”, and a fake version of Pizza Hut called “Pizza Huta”.

When contacted by a reporter, the sales office for empty retail lots passed the buck by explaining the signs were already hanging there when they first tried selling them. When questioned, the property developer explained their motives:

In waiting for these stores to be rented, fake signs are hung to create a business ambiance for the contractor. Once these lots have been rented out, these signs will be taken down.

Ambiance: it’s only ever a fake brand name away.

sichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signs

sichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signssichuan fake brands counterfeit retail lots signs

Photos: People’s Daily Online


That Corn Sold On The Street In China? It Is Drenched In Harmful Additives

Posted: 07/10/2014 4:53 pm

street corn fake food safetyWhenever you’ve waited for the bus, you’ve likely caught a whiff of the sweet aroma of corn wafting towards you from a pot over at the the newspaper stand. The mystery lingers: how can something only prepared with boiling water look and smell so good?

After a Henan man got sick after eating three ears of corn in a row, a reporter from the Henan Economic Report went in search of the answer, and it’s not pleasant: streetside boiled corn is prepared with artificial sweeteners and additives.

The reporter said vendors readily confessed to using food additives to prepare boiled corn. Their enthusiasm to disclose the information was based on the fact they consider this an “open secret” that everyone already knows about. One vendor offered this immensely quotable sentence:

There are most definitely additives used in boiled corn.

street corn fake food safetyAnother vendor even gave the name of the food additive market that is popular among vendors. It turns out artificial sweeteners are available for purchase at 30 to 45 yuan each at the Wankelai Foodstuff market. One store owner says artificial sweeteners are big business, and that she sells four to five bottles a month:

What it mainly does is make it more fresh, and helps preserve it longer in which the longer it cooks, the more sweet it smells.

Another store manager said:

This is an additive that can increase sweetness. It is 50 times sweeter than white sugar. Many peddlers will buy this in cases of 25 or 50kg.

street corn fake food safetyLi Chunqi, a botany professor at the Henan Agricultural University, says that using excessive amounts of this food additives or using them for a long period of time will harm human health. Furthermore, Li says it is against the law add sweeteners or additives to raw foods.

If you still have the urge to eat sweet corn in China, you can try and identify which corn has been coated in additives. Apparently “fake corn” will wrinkle when cool, and has a decidedly “gummy” texture. Of course, you could always buy corn at the supermarket and make it at home.

street corn fake food safety


See the Transformers in Person at Canton Tower in Guangzhou

Posted: 07/5/2014 4:24 pm

transformers statues canton tower

Can’t get enough Transformers? Come on down to the Canton Tower in downtown Guangzhou! Starting from today until September 30, the CGI-likeness of several characters from the latest installment of the Transformers franchise will be on display in the form of metal statues.

The characters include fan-favorites like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, along with tyrannosaurus rex Grimlock for the first time in statue form.

transformers statues canton towertransformers statues canton towertransformers statues canton towertransformers statues canton towertransformers statues canton towertransformers statues canton tower

Anyone looking for “More than Meets the Eye!” could likely do so with a watching of the current movie that features this blatant product placement:transformers product placement

Photos: Foshan Daily, Weibo

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