Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Debunking The Chinese Tourist in Europe Story

"Have you heard about the Chinese tourist that went on holiday to France?" this question has been asked over and over in China. The answers, however, became more and more interesting/dubious every time. A phenomenon well recorded in psychological science.

Lin Jun wrote a great article about how a story of a Chinese tourist whose fake Adidas bag was confiscated by French customs turned into a horror story, whereby some media even contended that Chinese tourists could be fined 300.000 euros, and even can be sentenced to a three year prison term.

Notice that both the scope of penalties and territory became broader. This nightmarish, but unverified news, probably have triggered the China National Tourism Association into telling the Chinese travel agencies they are responsible if their travellers wear counterfeit clothes, see here.

The urban legend/rumour had at least a deterrent effect on potential wearers of counterfeit clothing. Do you think IPR owners should try to spread this kind of rumours at will?

Read Lin Jun's article here.

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