Friday, June 01, 2007

Inside the Dragon's Den: Observations from a Counterfeit Watch Factory

Shenzhen based journalist and blogger (Shenzhen Zen) Justin Mitchell embedded himself for online publication Asia Sentinel inside a counterfeit watch factory in Shenzhen that sells them under brands such as Rolex, Seiko, Omega, Fossil and Tag Heuer, BMW, Bacardi, Dunhill, and the Beijing Olympics characters.

Mitchell describes the working conditions under which the counterfeit products are manufactured as Dickensian: the chemical fumes incurre long-term brain damage to the teen-aged employees. Pretty disturbing observations. For the culprit in the story, mr. Wong, there may be some hope left that he will go legit:

"Meanwhile, Wong continues well below the radar grinding out his watches, though he is proud to say he also makes “real” goods as his business straddles a line between legitimate and counterfeit."

Read Mitchell's interesting article here.

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