It has been four years since I last posted about China IP developments in New York City, and especially my home town, Flushing, New York. Now let’s turn to Chinatown, Manhattan, one of the few places that is alive with activity on Christmas Day, 2016. For visitors familiar with Chinese culture, there are any number of physical knock-offs.
The Heping (Peace) Hotel (Heping Fandian), a Shanghai Landmark, appears to have a counterpart (in Chinese) on Mott Street, even if the English calls itself a restaurant.
Is Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club, an inspiration for the Joy Luck Palace? Curious, as the characters are the name of a region in Hong Kong, Choi Fook…
Still, people do want the real thing when they pay for it: a Tenren Tea shop tells its customers in Chinese that it “directly sells products from the true place where it was produced.”
But the real story continues to be that the busy streets and the hawkers who are out there trying to selling their (too often) counterfeit goods. They are sold in plain view by street touts with catalogues of merchandise printed on laminated paper. New York’s Village Voice reported on the business of counterfeit sales on Canal Street in New York earlier in 2016 which they disclosed as including a pimp turned counterfeiter, police who use their badge to bargain down prices, merchants of various nationalities, and the problem of competition from the internet that has brought the business into decline.
Click below for an audio recording of negotiations to buy counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Rolex and other branded products in Chinatown, NY in 2016: