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Counterfeited Wines in China

In the just-held China Food & Drinks Fair (a.k.a. TangJiuHui, the largest B2B food & drink fair targeted to all business customers, i.e. wholesalers and retailers from all over China) last week in Chengdu, Chinese supervisory bodies and the police force executed joint inspection and crack down exercise against counterfeited wine traders. Counterfeiters took advantage of this yearly largest food & drink event to seize their business interests. Buyers of these faked wine products were mostly unaware of the authenticity, while some might still know with their cheap price tags.

The below pic shown a counterfeited wine claimed from Australia which combined and integrated several elements to confuse the market and the consumers:

  1. The notable Australian’s Penfolds label design and the Bin “number” concept;

  2. The Chinese transliteration of Australian’s “Jacobs Creek” (the same pronunciation jie-ka-si with a different Chinese character: 捷卡斯 (the English brand used was “Jeacusy” while since most Chinese don’t read and understand it, so it could be ignored, instead of 杰卡斯, the official Chinese translation of Jacobs Creek title used in China);

The advertisement materials offered a minimum order quantity of 500 cases at the price of 42 Chinese RMB Yuan per (6-bottle) case, which was less than AUD 1.50 per bottle. This was definitely a faked wine without any doubt.

The below video link is to give you an insight and understanding on how awful and serious that faked wines produced in China, it includes also faked spirits and beers as well.

In general, there has several types of faked wines:

  1. Complete counterfeited wine – only the wine producer or an expert could identify and tell the differences. This class of fake wines causes the most damages to the brand owners (genuine producers), it’s not only economical loss but also the reputation should the consumers not know the fact and consider the quality is inferior and not as expected. The counterfeiters may not be necessary to sell at low price while offering a 10% to 20% discount so customers would not be easy to identify (they could claim these wines are parallel import);

  2. Copycat – likes the above-mentioned content, counterfeiters make very similar (if not identical) of all graphical impression to confuse the market with a much lower price tag.

  3. The third type is unique in China, since there has so many private label (OEM) wines were brought in and sold in China in the recent years. Some fake wines (neither the first nor the second mentioned above) might also mix in the supply channels of these OEM wines, which making it even more difficult to sort out.

Winery owners and International wine marketers need to have this in mind and in their plan when launching their wines to China. Be aware that not only famous and reputable wine brands would be counterfeited. If your wines sell in China, the chance being counterfeited is always there, so effective means on brand protection, packaging and supply chain management are all needed to be considered and well-planned.

At, we help winery clients to prepare both conventional (physical) and digital solutions to protect their brands and wine products.

#counterfeitedwine #ChinaFoodDrinksFair #TangJiuHui

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