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Law should protect consumers from fakes

China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-09 07:52

Workers with the Tianjin Human-care Latex Corporation inspect condoms on the production line. Zhai Jianlan / Xinhua

Recent media reports show there was a chain manufacturing and selling fake condoms in North China's Shanxi province, and the products were sold nationwide until the police caught those responsible. Beijing News comments:

Compared with the past, the new chains producing and selling fake goods are better hidden and make better use of the internet. The manufacturers communicate with each other via the internet, while the sellers reportedly sell their fake goods both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores.

However, that's not the fault of the internet. The internet is open and there are always some illegal traders who seek to make illicit use of the openness. That's a necessary price that must be paid. What needs to be done is to strike at the crime.

Currently the legal penalties for making fake goods are rather low. In the above-mentioned case, the fake goods producers are suspected of committing the crime of counterfeiting businesses' trademarks. However, according to the Criminal Law, only those who acquire more than a certain amount of illicit profits are considered to have violated the law, and the amount is so high that a majority of fake goods producers do not cross the threshold.

Making fake goods is also a crime, but the penalty for such a crime is too low, because the highest penalty is seven years' imprisonment. That standard has remained the same since 1997, even though the Criminal Law has been revised several times. Yet during the same period, the profits that can be made from fake goods have multiplied manyfold.

As a result, making fake goods has become a profitable illegal business, with low risks of penalty even if being caught. In order to more effectively strike against the crime of making fake goods, it is time to amend the Criminal Law so that those engaged in such illegal activities get heavier penalties.

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