Shanghai, 20th March 2010
First let me clarify that the expression “a Chinese copy” nowadays is more a generic indication that an original has been copied and not necessarily means copied in China. It could have been copied anywhere else in the world. However as history has it, China probably invented it and making a copy became synonymous with China.
Why am I on to this subject? As you know the World Expo is about to open its doors to the world and the Shanghai authorities are doing everything (and I mean everything!) to show off in similar style as at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. So as I walked through the city this morning I noted that the usual DVD shops (there where you can buy all the latest movies, even before they are out in the theatres sometimes) are being closed or “re-organised”. What it means is that the shop front no longer openly displays the latest DVD’s, they have all been relocated to back rooms, basements or upper floors, leaving a nondescript shop front. A secret passage in the back lets you through to the “Garden of Eden” :). I was told that during Obama’s recent visit to Shanghai the authorities simply closed down the fake good markets for the day…Chinese copies? Nah… not in China…
In lighting we still have to deal with “Chinese copies” but I must say (respect where respect is due) that they have come a long way over the last 10-20 years. Where the “Chinese copies” used to be of easily detectable bad quality, some strong and good quality local brands have emerged over the recent years. I am not ashamed to say that we specify some local Chinese brands at times with good results. Add to that the international manufacturers who have their manufacturing facilities in China and it is easy to see that the expression of a “Chinese copy” is gradually being replaced by “Made in China”.