Counterfeiters Staying Busy in China


The practice of selling counterfeit lubricants appears to be alive and well in China. Authorities say supply chains of criminals are widening and that this is making them more difficult to catch.

Last month, local police in Yibin, Sichuan province, uprooted a group accused of selling over 30 drums of fake Mobil lubes and BP hydraulic fluids to a local company through a business-to-business website. The sales price was over CNY300,000 (U.S. $49,000). One suspect was arrested.

The suspect, named He, bought counterfeit lubes and hydraulic fluids from underground illegal workshops in Shenzhen, a Yibin policeman told Lube Report Asia. The counterfeiter poured the oil into used bottles of some renowned brands and, using his registered trading company, sold them online at low prices to buyers nationwide.

Counterfeiting has become more covert and difficult to catch because its supply chain has expanded to different counties and villages in different provinces, said the policeman. He declined to give his name because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

A number of similar cases were reported in regions across the country in recent months. In November, police in Yanliang, in western Chinas Shaanxi province, broke up a group accused of manufacturing and selling counterfeit lubes. Misrepresented brands included Shell, Mobil, Kunlun, Greatwall and Tongyi. According to local newspaper Hua Shang Daily, police said the fake oils were manufactured, stored and sold in four different villages in Shaanxi.

In June, police in Jinan, Shandong province, Langfang and Cangzhou in Hebei province, Xining in Qinghai province, Bijie in Guizhou province, as well as Chengdu in Sichuan province, jointly arrested 11 people suspected of building a supply chain that covered manufacturing, packaging and sales in 13 places in the five provinces. Police confiscated more than 150,000 fake labels involving almost all well-known brands, including Mobil, Shell and Greatwall, along with 4,306 drums of fake oils and 16.5 metric tons of base stocks, according to China Police Daily, a paper under the Ministry of Public Security.

The same month, police in Zhenjiang, in the Eastern province of Jiangsu, broke up an alleged counterfeit lube supply chain located in Jiangsu province, Shandong province, Guangdong province and Shanghai. According to multiple news reports, the criminals used sophisticated equipment, including a sealing machine, a creasing machine and a micro-computer-controlled filling machine.

Authorities in China have stepped up efforts to stop counterfeiting of all types, but the culprits are getting harder to fight, said Chai Haitao, director general of the nations intellectual property rights office.

With the Internet, criminals can locate their headquarters in place A, with a manufacturing base and settlement service in places B and C, Chai said during a January press conference in Beijing. They can even use a server located overseas with the help of cross-border criminal groups. These factors are making our work more difficult and time-consuming.”

Related Topics

Asia    China    Finished Lubricants    Region    Regulations    Regulations Specs & Testing