As Shanghai fakes its commitment to IP protection, I happen upon a Fake Swarovski Feeding Frenzy

I was passing through the Jing’an Temple metro station late this afternoon when I came across a frenzy of young women crouched down and clawing at something – a something that turned out to be boxes and boxes of fake Swarovski jewelry (note: my camera served to scatter many of the customers).

Nothing unusual in seeing fakes in Shanghai, or fake vendors in the subways. But I was a bit surprised to see them so active only weeks ahead of the Expo 2010 opening ceremonies. After all, Shanghai’s Pirate DVD stores, so far as I can tell, are still shuttered, or at least operating out back-doors or via internal rooms. So why the fake Swarovski salesmen are privileged over the city’s beloved purveyors of low-cost Jim Jarmusch DVD boxed sets (and other such things), remains a mystery. However, what’s perfectly clear is that Shanghai’s recent Expo-related case of IP religion (see here, here, and here) is roughly equal, in sincerity, to a hard kick in the shins. Case in point: Urso Chappell, the esteemed US-based Expo historian and founder of the Expo Museum, and the World’s Fair Podcast, tweets:

See the copied material, here.


  1. Oh yeah, I’ve experienced a similar case. I saw a store selling obviously pirated CDs. And I was just toying with my camera. (Though I wanted to take a picture of a cover for a friend too!) And then the salesperson suddenly turned hostile towards me.

  2. I’ve wondered about that too. Why are the DVD stores shut down but the fake makets are still open???

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