This is a documentary about an illegal activity that’s engulfing the world. It’s a narrative about the popular brands and the “appetite” gone wild for their imitations. It’s a story about how China became the superpower where almost everything is produced and manufactured and in the same time everything is faked. Capitalism’s out of hands and rampant.
Welcome to the People’s Republic of Counterfeiting.
Today the world has a new religion. Our icons, the global brands with their top CEOs, are holding evangelical mass rallies. Although Apple’s promotional podcast celebrates its slick Californian designed iPods, its products are made by unseen Chinese factory workers and so are its competitors.
Over the past 20 years this magic route to increase profits has had one unpredicted consequence – the creation of a vast, international counterfeit industry. In January 2007, the senior executives of twenty of the world’s biggest corporations came to Switzerland to declare a war on the fakers for threatening their profits.
Many of these brands have never gone public before for fear of damaging our faith in their products. Now for the first time they’re appealing directly to us, their consumers. It’s the world’s biggest anti-counterfeit conference. Twelve hundred delegates have come from all over the world but the speech is strangely avoiding naming the greatest faker of all, until it’s time to answer the journalists’ questions.
The truth is the brands now depend on China for their workers and the Chinese government doesn’t take kindly to criticism. Until thirty years ago China was a sworn enemy of capitalism. Then it allowed the first foreign companies in to open their factories.
Today many commercial cities on the Southern border have huge shopping centers exclusively devoted to fakes from China’s copy industry. Tourists go there on special shopping trips, some from as far away as the United States. The fakes on display are just a fraction of what’s available there and the stores themselves are shop windows for wholesalers that sell in bulk to international traders.