Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Cannot Buy A Real Egg In China Without Breaking it

"When you start with a portrait and try to find pure form by abstracting more and more, you must end up with an egg." If we paraphrase Pablo Picasso's phrase into: When you want to find the purest form of counterfeit product in China by abstracting more and more, you must end up with an egg.

1. it is even done for marginal profits or lucrative (estimated 300-400 percent profit rate for fake detergent, read here);
2. it can be deadly;
3. it is very hard to detect;
4. the authorities grapple with the problem.

Here we are: these problems unfortunately apply to most counterfeit products.

Fake egg school
Sasha Matuszak wrote a great All Voices article last year about a problem that has only increased the year after she wrote it: fake eggs are a widespread problem in China, not only in the less affluent provinces but also in cities as Beijing or Shenzhen. In it she gives the context of the problem of uprooted migrants that have to get by in the big cities, the health risks the fake eggs cause (for example dementia), and that you can find many advertisements where fake egg teachers invite fake egg students. Read here.

Real egg school
What it also shows is that there is a disconnect between the central and local authorities, and that Chinese citizens are sharing information about how to figure about what is real and what not.

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