Alessandra Galloni's wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal about Giuseppe Festa, an Italian counterfeiter. Reporting on his tale sheds light on counterfeiting connections with Hong Kong and China.
"In China, where the majority of knock-offs are made, counterfeiters can visit boutiques opened by luxury-goods companies. Some fashion houses also have moved parts of their production to Asia in order to trim costs. The proximity to actual luxury goods has enabled counterfeiters to raise quality and copy products faster. The Internet is spurring sales, too: Counterfeiters' Web sites show photos of real watches and then pitch replicas at a fraction of the price."
If I understand it correctly, counterfeiters could ship parts of counterfeit products that customs whould only recognise as such when assembled.
"This month, a Hong Kong market was selling copies of Louis Vuitton handbags that had been unveiled in Paris but weren't yet in stores, says Nathalie Moulle-Berteaux, intellectual-property director of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA's fashion group."
Counterfeiters are clearly the unwanted early adopters.
Read Alessandra Galloni's article, with contributions of Ellen Byron, for The Wall Street Journal here.