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Digital Citizens, Friday, September 13, 2013


Follow a Digital Citizens' camera into a Beijing store – the size of a large U.S. Department store – selling nothing but counterfeit items.  In a recent visit to Beijing, Digital Citizens' Executive Director Tom Galvin and some friends visited the store to see what name brands they would find. Click play to go inside with them and see what is there.

‘We’ve all seen the fake handbags and watches for sale on street corners and online. We know you can’t get a real Gucci bag for $20, but many of us view these knock-offs as harmless. However, counterfeiting is no innocent crime. It not only hurts our economy, but can also endanger your safety and health—or the safety of others. Proceeds from counterfeit goods are often used to support other crimes, like drug and human trafficking.

A new Digital Citizens report examines the issue of Chinese counterfeiting and how online trafficking in counterfeit goods affects us offline.

Counterfeiting isn’t limited to handbags. A vast Chinese counterfeiting industry produces a variety of fake products, from vehicle parts to medication to electronic goods. These fake products are being used worldwide, and may show up in your car or your medicine cabinet. Even the U.S. military has been scammed into using counterfeit Chinese parts in its planes, helicopters, and missile systems.

How big is the problem?

• 62% of the counterfeit goods seized in the United States come from China.
• 70% of the counterfeit goods seized worldwide come from China.
• Some U.S. companies lose between 15% and 20% of their sales to counterfeit goods.
• Of the fake military parts recently identified in a U.S. Senate report, 70% were from China.

The problems caused by Chinese counterfeiting, piracy, and cybercrime are growing every year. Just recently, federal prosecutors opened a case against a Chinese firm accused of cybertheft worth $800 million.

This issue is something that every Digital Citizen needs to be aware of. When you buy products you know are counterfeit, it puts money into the pockets of these criminals. Business leaders and governments have a role to play in stopping this dangerous industry, too. We cannot allow our online neighborhood to be taken over by criminals on the other side of the globe or flooded with dangerous fake goods. Digital Citizens need to take a stand against these counterfeit products and demand that business and civic leaders do more to keep them in check.
Please click here to read the full report.”

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