Makers of counterfeit goods in China are employing chip technology in their fake luxury handbags as a new technique to cheat customers, news reports have said.
Police made the discovery after smashing a counterfeit syndicate in Shanghai and Guangdong on Sunday. Officers seized more than 2,000 fake Louis Vuitton handbags, 30 machines and over 100,000 pieces of leather and metalware with an estimated total market value of 110 million yuan (US$16.1 million), mainland Chinese media reported.
Some of the seized handbags were replicas of upcoming new collections to be launched by LV. The counterfeits were also found to have been implanted with an NFC chip which a mobile phone could scan, linking customers to the luxury brand’s official webpage that displayed the genuine product, the reports said.
Genuine LV handbags did not have NFC chips, mainland media quoted the brand’s franchise as saying. NFC stands for near-field communication.
The knock-offs were designated for different parts of mainland China as well as overseas markets. The syndicate allegedly conspired with an LV shop employee in Guangzhou to obtain designs of its upcoming handbags, then manufactured counterfeits in Guangdong province, according to the reports.
An imitation handbag was produced at a cost of 100 yuan to 200 yuan, sold at wholesale prices of 300 yuan to 500 yuan and then sold to retail customers at 400 yuan to 700 yuan, mainland police said.
A Hong Kong shop dealing with second-hand luxury bags of the brand BANG! BANG! 70′s told Apple Daily that it would not accept any suspicious-looking items from sellers because counterfeits were rampant in neighboring mainland China.
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