Chinese counterfeits are costing Korean manufacturers up to US$7.2 billion a year, according to a report published by Business Korea. The country’s Office of Patent Administration found nearly 65,000 Chinese counterfeits of Korean products on popular e-commerce site Alibaba in 2016, hitting sales to the tune of KRW8 trillion.
K-beauty is one of the biggest victims of Chinese fakes, with AmorePacific-owned Sulwhasoo and Tonymoly both reporting repeated issues with copycat products.
“Chinese counterfeiters cleverly change product names and sell them at online shopping malls but it is difficult to respond to each of the Chinese counterfeiters,” an AmorePacific spokesperson told Business Korea.
“There are a lot of fakes that cannot be distinguished unless we take a close look at them,” added a representative of Tonymoly. “There were many cases in which Chinese consumers complained against us after using such low-quality counterfeit products.”