No magic cure – why product authentication will not stop Chinese counterfeiters

By Dean Arnold

Several technology companies are promising to eradicate counterfeits from the Chinese marketplace as part of their marketing push. However, rights holders should be wary of trusting that product authentication will make a major dent in the battle against fakes in China

New anti-counterfeiting technologies such as atomic fingerprinting, covert ink and quick response (QR) codes are hitting the market almost every week. Their PR campaigns are consistent: these technologies promise to eradicate counterfeiting. While a strong sales pitch, it ignores the reality on the ground in China: counterfeiting is prolific because the supply and demand sides both benefit greatly from it. To believe that anti-counterfeiting technologies will single-handedly end a $1 trillion industry is wishful thinking.

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Issue 73