China smashes counterfeiting ring that sold 100 million yuan of branded goods

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese police have arrested 32 members of a group they said made and sold up to 100 million yuan (£11.3 million) worth of counterfeit luxury goods from brands such as Louis Vuitton and Loewe, state news agency Xinhua said.

The case highlights the challenge faced by brands in China, whose products, such as cosmetics, and even automobiles, run the risk of being copied.

Police in the commercial capital of Shanghai also closed two assembly lines used to make the counterfeits and seized more than 4,000 bags, clothes and accessories, each of which they said cost the group 200 yuan to make.

Authorities launched the investigation last year, following a tip that knock-off luxury handbags were being sold on Chinese mobile messaging app WeChat, which is operated by Tencent Holdings.

They also made some arrests in January in the southern province of Guangdong and eastern Jiangsu, Xinhua said.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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