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The World's Greatest Fakes
Jan. 28, 2004 (CBS)
Name an American brand. Any brand, and any kind of product.
Clothing, computer chips, car parts. Just name it and we’ll tell you something about it. It’s probably being counterfeited in China, right now, as we speak.
For years, China has been the workshop of the world. And for years, American and other western firms have set up shop in China to tap into the enormous, cheap labor force.
The question is -- once the Chinese know how to make an American product, what’s to stop them from copying it? The answer? Nothing at all.
And what's to prevent the Chinese from shipping these counterfeits back to the United States? Not much, reports correspondent Bob Simon.
60 Minutes II found a corner shop in Donguan, China selling clubs by Callaway, the American manufacturer of the famous Great Big Bertha driver.
The Chinese government didn’t want us to bring our cameras, so we did – undercover. Inside, we saw a club that looked and felt like the Great Big Bertha. Not only that, we were offered Callaway irons, putters, golf bags, gloves, and even a Callaway umbrella.
And the best part? What would retail for close to $3,000 in the United States, was being offered to us for $275. Why? Because, as the owner of the shop readily admitted, the whole set was a copy.
That’s what they call it in China. But at Callaway, they call it counterfeit.
“The first clue we had to that problem was when people began sending in the clubs as they broke,” says Stu Herrington, head of security for Callaway Golf. He’s seen fake Callaway clubs pour into the U.S. from China. “And of course, repairs took a look at this broken club and realized right away it was fake.”
But fake golf clubs don't begin to suggest the enormity of the problem.
“We have never seen a problem of this size and magnitude in world history. There’s more counterfeiting going on in China now than we’ve ever seen anywhere,” says Dan Chow, a law professor at...
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