Fake bags at a street stand.
Knock-offs are taking a nosedive in the Chinese market as consumers look to authentic American products online.
It’s no secret that China has a long history producing counterfeit goods—back in the 17th century, Spanish priest Domingo Navarrete, remarked that the Chinese had “imitated to perfection whatsoever they have seen brought out of Europe.” But trends in Chinese consumption indicate this practice is losing momentum quickly. In addition to government crackdowns on manufacturers of fake goods, more than ever, the average Chinese customer is demanding authentic products. According to figures published by the Harvard Business review, only 12% of Chinese shoppers were willing to purchase fake jewelry, drastically down from the 31% figure of two years ago. It is no coincidence that many of 57 million Chinese tourists last year, reported “shopping at luxury stores” as a motivating factor for travelling. Western brands are held in high-esteem, and with consumer preferences in China rapidly changing, these brands are in a prime position to succeed in the Chinese market. Living standards and wages are rising in most parts of China, especially in urban areas. Online buyers are switching from consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platforms to business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplaces when purchasing goods online. Beginning in 2002, the B2C sector has seen a compounded annual growth rate of 110%, according to a report on e-commerce in China published by the Macquarie Group. This preference for buying assured quality goods directly from businesses online bodes well for those looking to export to China.