Latest Newsletter🍵 Details emerge from Monterey ParkRead


Inside China’s Booming Industry For Fake Designer Goods

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    If you haven’t heard already, China has an actual name for its collective industry of knockoff products — fashion items included — that continues to thrive thanks to a cult-like following.

    The word is “shanzai,” which literally translates to “mountain fortress.” According to Shanghai-based site Hacked Matter, it was first used in 2005 to describe companies that produced counterfeit phones, such as “Anycoll” and “Nakia.”

    Today, shanzai products extend to cover items from every possible brand, and the fashion industry is no exception. There is room to make profit from bags, clothes, shoes and everything in between.

    The creators of shanzai fashion are usually female, SupChina noted. On e-commerce site Taobao, for instance, over 50% of the shops are owned by women, and they also sell through WeChat and Weibo.

    With such a strong social media presence, followers can easily browse items, send order requests and flaunt their purchases in selfies after delivery.

    Interestingly, shanzai fashion designers also post behind-the-scene production photos of their products, which could help boost customer trust.

    Image via Wikimedia Commons / Gohnarch (CC BY-SA 3.0)

    However, the items are often sold in limited edition sets. In deciding what their next product should be, shanzai designers crowdsource ideas from customers who will most likely buy the item once available.

    With this set-up, it’s not difficult to imagine how such goods continue to sell despite the possible health risks and legal consequences.

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal