Normally, the best of the bests would dream of winning world-class awards, such as the Nobel Prize in science, the Oscars in film and television, the Pulitzer Prize in the press, the National Geographic Global Photography Awards.
However, there is one award which winner will not jubilant. Germany’s “anti-prize” Plagiarius is an annual competition organised by the German Anti-Plagiarism Society Aktuib Plagiarius e.V. for counterfeit products. The trophy is a black gnome with a golden nose which symbolises the exorbitant earnings counterfeited products collect at the cost of innovative companies. Each year, the competition and the Plagiarius prize-winners attract significant global media coverage. It is not merely a satire, it is humiliating to the “winning” country.
Is it honourable for the manufacturers of the world’s second-largest economy to rely on plagiarism and theft of other people’s intellectual property to make high profits? No, it is a disgrace!
Let’s have a look at the list of counterfeit products manufactured by CCP China. The products range from hardware, tools, mobile phones, small appliances, to food, ready-to-wear clothing, toys, shoes, cosmetics, jewellery, office supplies. The most catchy phrase common to these products reads “akin to xxx brand”.
China’s counterfeit products also extend to smart home appliances and all 3C products (i.e. computers, communications and consumer electronics). 3C products include almost all consumer goods such as computers, tablets, mobile phones or digital audio players, and highly complex industrial products like automobiles. These counterfeit products share the common descriptions of “imitation”, “inferior quality” and “cheap”.
How do counterfeit and inferior goods end up in the hands of consumers without being discovered or intercepted by regulators in charge of trade, inspection, patent, industry and commerce, and consumer protection? These products are readily identified as counterfeits, despite having similar appearance, packaging, functionality and similarity to the original brands. By applying specialised methodology, one can easily identify the counterfeits.
What causes counterfeit goods to be discoverable but not discovered, discovered but not intercepted? One word describes it all: money. There is nothing which cannot be resolved with money, the only question is how much money is required to achieve the desired outcome.
The plagiarising manufacturers benefited unfairly by not spending money on research and development, patent fees, marketing costs, etc. Any regulating authorities can be bought with bribes. Consumers are aware that these are counterfeit goods, yet are willing to purchase them to save money. When parties along the entire supply chain only have their eyes on money, there is no room for morality or law.
When the fakes prevail, the originals lose their market share. The end result is inferiority thrives over excellence, bona fide businesses suffer heavy losses or bankruptcy.
In the years past, Australian woollen sweaters were popular worldwide. Per the sales volume in China, all Australian wool should have been insufficient to supply the demand. More recently, Australian products including its red wine, A2 milk powder and beef, are all victims of imitations. Warwick Powell, the head of a Brisbane beef export company Beefledger, said that for every 10kg of Australian beef currently sold in China, only 1kg is authentic Australian beef.
The concept of “stealing books is not stealing” is deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese, popularised over hundreds of years from temples to the grassroots. After the devastation of the past 10 years, the Chinese society is basically devoid of morality. Theft is no longer frowned upon, institutional structure and legal environment have lost their purpose, and there are little consequences for committing crimes.
Many Chinese people living under the CCP ruling seem to have lost their morality in their pursuit of money. Without shame, people are no longer humans. Without sense of disrepute, a country is no longer a nation. This simply cannot continue if we and our children were to have a future. We need to wake up.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of GNEWS.org.