China Market for Fakes Launches Own Brand

January 24, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: January 24, 2008 12:00 am

BEIJING—Beijing's Silk Street Market, famous for knock-off designer gear from North Face jackets to Louis Vuitton bags, has unveiled its own brand and, apparently with a straight face, warned counterfeiters not to copy it.

The first items to bear the SILKSTREET name include “apparel such as neckties, shirts and scarves, as well as a few household items such as tablecloths”, news media said on Thursday.

They are marked “quality guaranteed” with a label that tells buyers that “the goods are certified by the Silk Street Market.

“SILKSTREET products are sold exclusively in the market. Anyone using the brand outside will be held liable,” the Beijing Evening News quoted Wang Zili, general manager of the market, as saying.

The market, a magnet for both local expatriates and foreign tourists, said as early as January 2005 that it would stop the sale of counterfeit goods but they have been on sale openly ever since.

That announcement came a day ahead of a visit by then U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans for an intellectual property rights forum and amid yet more, Chinese pledges to get tough on copyright violations.