China launches Silk Market crackdown, but fake goods still on sale

BEIJING, July 13, 2007 (AFP) -A notorious Beijing counterfeit-goods emporium has ousted 150 merchants in its latest anti-piracy sweep, state media said Friday, July 13th, but fake goods with foreign brand names remained openly available.


Beijing's Silk Market - Photo : AFP

A month-long clampdown by the operators of the Silk Street Market weeded out merchants selling fake brand-name ties, scarves, children's clothes and other goods, the China Daily newspaper reported.

"The move is part of our commitment to doing business while protecting intellectual property rights," said Wang Zili, the market's general manager.

However, many other merchants in the raucous bazaar were seen in recent days openly selling a range of cheap counterfeit goods with Gucci, Nike, Polo and other major brand names.

The popular market -- located just a stone's throw from the US Embassy -- has become a symbol of Chinese inaction on reining in its huge counterfeit goods industry in the face of persistent demands by the United States and other trading partners.

The United States in April 2007 formally lodged a complaint against China at the World Trade Organisation over copyright piracy.

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