Riding the elevator up to my hotel room I must admit I did a double take. The sign was written in Thai but there I was in a town in Yunnan. Confused, I read on…

Fake gear in Yunnan for the Thai market

The Thai reads (my translation):

You are welcome up to the Tenth (10) Floor, Room 1002, to the Grade A copied merchandise store. We have clothes, bags, shoes, watches, golf clubs and many other items. Flexible prices. Thanking you in advance!

China is obviously well-known as a global hotspot for all manner of fake and “copied” gear – including fake golf clubs. So it is hardly surprising that my hotel was hosting a store with merchandise of dubious origin. Apparently in China there is even widespread production of fake electronic goods.

Unfortunately when I went to room 1002 it was unattended so I can’t provide any further insight about the more surprising part of the story: the unexpected effort to directly target Thais. I imagine that there are Thai shoppers – both ordinary consumers and serious wholesalers – who do dash up to Yunnan hoping to purchase Chinese copies of designer branded shirts, shoes, watches and all the rest.

I wonder if they get a good deal?