We all know that if you want something you will probably find it in China. Fake or not, it’s there. No matter if it’s a fake drink or fake Paris, they can come up with almost everything. They even produce fake paper bags from Chanel, Hermes etc. for people who cannot afford original item but want to ‘show off’ so they just get the paper bag and pretend it’s a leftover from ‘casual shopping in Milan’. They fake luxury products, they fake casual everyday use products, fake instant noodles, fake restaurants. Literally my mother in law went with my sister in law to MFC – some kind of weird combination of McDonald’s and KFC. They even said it’s quite good!
Some of their fake products are really bad, almost falling apart and probably might give you a cancer when you get older but some of them are really, really good. I’m not only talking about the quality but how similar it can be with the original. Even my husband said he would get tricked. If he could get tricked imagine someone who doesn’t speak nor read Chinese, goes to a chinese grocery store and wonder what to buy – everyone who has been to China knows that a lot of their products’ names are actually a sound translations of original product with some meaning connected to it. But how in the world can you know if it’s THAT product? With help of www.aboluowang.com and my husband we came up with most popular and sometimes just rediculous examples of fake Chinese goods and how to tell they are fake.
Washing powders and beauty products
雕牌 – brand of cleaning products with eagle in it’s name. Promise to clean your clothes, same as fake product cleaning your pocket. It’s really tricky because it’s made not from one sign but… from two, just separated. Instead of 雕 there’s 周住. I know those tiny signs can be really hard to read on the PC but don’t worry, there’s also ‘Zhouzhu’ written on the side. Just in case.
白貓 – White cat, another cleaning product popular in China. It also has ‘almost twin brother’ named… 日貓 Sunny cat. How you know it’s fake? Of course by a tiny stroke above the ‘ladder’ and because the cat looks little bit sick. Maybe it’s like Thor and his brother.
Tids – I think there’s nothing much to say, only someone not familiar with the brand ‘Tide’ can get tricked. Seriously, I read it to my husband out loud and he was like ‘Tits?!’. Close enough.
Rejoice – I must honestly say that they have really nice shampoos so I’m not really surprised even they got copied. For me I wouldn’t get tricked with this one but as my husband says ‘We don’t look at English signs, it’s like with a menu in Chinese restaurant in America, we only look in Chinese part of it’. Same here – main target to trick are local people. Original Chinese name is 飘柔 and a fake one is 漂. Flying soft vs. Bleach soft. Seriously, is there anyone who would buy a hair product called BLEACH SOFT. Soft as bleach. I’m just stunned.
Olay is the ONLY OKAY product on the list. That’s a really lame joke but those pictures are worth more than thousand words.
Drinks and food
Mongolian cow – a brand of milk written as 蒙牛. But if you are really thirsty you can also drink some Real cow 真牛, Mongolian Milk 蒙奶 or even a Luxury cow. I can imagine myself going to a store and asking a lady ‘And one Luxury cow, please. I’m tired of that casual non luxury mongolian one‘
Kang master – they producte drinks, cup noodles and their name is a base of many wicked fake products. The first picture made my husband really confused, he said he would have trouble looking on the signs, they are very similar but one of them is a ‘Kang master’ or ‘Kang shifu’ 康师傅 the other one changed his family name to… ‘Liam master/shifu’ 廉师傅. Beside that you can find a water named ‘Kang brother’ 康师弟 and to make it more funny there are cup noodles called ‘Kang handsome knowledgeable’ and ‘Kang handsome master’. I’m pretty sure Mr. Kang would be happy to know how people see him. Check the strokes in each word to see how tricky it can be.
Union 统一 – the design of the bottle, colors and half of the name is almost a rip off. From Union it changed it’s name to 中国统一集团 – China Union corporation. Just in case someone accused them of stealing.
Tsingtao beer 青島啤酒- name is connected to Qingdao city. And there’s also another beer ‘Qingdao city’ 青岛市 beer. Just like you had a ‘New York’ and ‘New York city’ beer. And I think every guy would be so upset if it tours out that their delicious beer is actually fake!
Let’s head to more popular products for Wester world. Everyone probably had a sip of Sprite in their life. Original name is Chinese is ‘Snow Clear’ 雪碧 because of the way it looks. You can also try a Cloud Clear 雲碧 – first signs look really similar. In shops you can also find a Snow Dew 雪露 and Snow Lord 雪霸. Because normal snow is not enough.
If you don’t like sprite there’s also ‘Can be tasty, can be happy’ 可口可乐 also known as sound translation of Coca Cola. You can also try some ‘Can be sunshine, can be happy’. Just add a stroke in the middle and you get. Not to mention ‘forgotten sister’Cacacala 卡卡卡拉. I couldn’t stop laughing. Cacacala.
No energy? Don’t worry, on a shopping shelf there are also energy drinks! But not any energy drinks, it’s a ‘Pulse movement’ 脉动. If that’s not enough you can get close to ‘Pulse danger’ 脉劫, It comes with different entertainment packages like ‘Singing movement’ 咏动 or ‘Swimming movement’ 泳动, all customized for a client.
Oreo lover? Watch out! Olio, something that even my husband doesn’t know how to call and… ocola. It all waits for you if you cannot recognize which one is original (奧利奧), which one is fake.
Golden cough medicine 金嗓子 – original comes with an OTC sign and English name with Chinese signs in the middle of the package. Fake ones are either a Chinese version of ‘Golden’ written in pin yin – Jin Sang Zi or even as ‘New Jin Sang Zi’ – Xin Jin Sang Zi. It (probably) won’t kill you but I wouldn’t buy it!
I could continue like that for a whole day. It really makes me amazed how some people can be… creative. Yes, that’s the word. Creative.
Have you ever seen a really fake product or place, restaurant, anything? Or maybe you got tricked? Share your experience!