The economic and commercial office of the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek says many factories in China make world-class, original brands, but unfortunately some consumers often ask for cheaper goods when they go shopping in China.
Yet some price-sensitive consumers cry foul when these rock-bottom priced goods they acquire disintegrate shortly after their acquisition. Liu Hua-Bo, the economic and commercial counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, expressed these sentiments last Friday.
“If the value is good the price must also be very reasonable. Some people ask these street vendors for a US$100 iPhone or a leather belt for just U$1,” said the economic counsellor, who requested consumers travelling to China not to buy goods sold by street vendors who sell iPhones for as cheaply as US$100.
“Some importers from Africa want to look for those very cheap products from the Internet or from local small vendors,” said the economic counsellor. He implored Namibian consumers travelling to China to source a wide range of goods and to source their goods from big formal factories in China and to avoid street vendors, who often sell counterfeit goods for a song to unsuspecting consumers.
Liu, who in a subtle way implied that cheap things prove to be expensive in the end, says Namibian consumers who travel to China should look for quality and not quantity.
“Our government has strict measures to decrease these kind of [low quality] products. We have a war on the production of these kinds of goods that infringe on intellectual property rights. Our government pays very high attention to this and takes many measures to lessen this. We also hope local importers don’t buy these kind of fake, counterfeit goods,” stated the economic and commercial counsellor.
Inasmuch as the trillion-dollar manufacturing sector in China makes just about everything, its informal street factories also fake just about everything, from famous sports apparel, copycat cars, Rolex watches and fake designer brand garments.
Counterfeit products have become global and exist virtually in every sector, including food, beverages, clothes, shoes, pharmaceuticals, electronics, auto parts, toys and currency.
In spite being near synonymous with poor quality goods, China also produces high-quality products and one study even propelled China ahead of Germany and Japan as the top source of high-value manufactures consumed in the USA.
This year alone the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated the global value of all counterfeit goods reached a staggering US$1,77 trillion, up from approximately US$550 billion in 2008.