Made in China: Part 2

Last time we looked a bit at the sports and clothing industry and how copied goods abound so that prices are low enough for people to actually afford them here in China. Today I want to show you a few design copies I thought were interesting. Now keep in mind these are not exact copies, but to me, the ideas look too close to be coincidence… this is China. My disclaimer this time? Intellectual property is a highly debatable topic, and if we are honest with ourselves, all the great things we have in the world today are just recycled ideas made better. I mean, what if no one decided to copy Henry Ford’s idea?


We all know the great online auction pioneer ebay right? Here is their unmistakable logo:




Here is a popular Chinese site to listen and download music (we’ll discuss the in’s and out’s of downloading music at a later date). It’s called Sogou, and its looks curiously familiar:




Ok I admit, it’s 5 letters not 4, and different letters of the alphabet are used, but com’on! Couldn’t they at least pick different colors? They even used the same color order in the letters if you subtract the 2nd ‘O’.


How about everybody’s favorite German import car, the BMW aka Beamer:




There is also a popular car produced in China by a company called BYD, and their logo looks like this:




Sure there are a few differences, but… get my point.

But it doesn’t stop there! How about BMW’s evil twin, the Mercedes Benz:




And it’s Chinese counterpart, the JAC car company:




This is only the beginning, there are dozens of other Chinese copycat car companies (Seriously, click the link, it will blow your mind). The two posted above are just a few I’ve noticed around.


I would just like to point out that not all Chinese logos and designs are ripped off. In fact I’m sure there is plenty of this going on in other parts of the world including the United States. The main difference is how artistic rights are viewed, but again, disposable consumer income (and they ain’t got much) plays a huge part in how those views have come about here. If this happened entirely in the US, someone would probably lose their pants in a high profile lawsuit. But as I mentioned last week, the actual Toyota logo was used, unaltered, on a Chinese automakers car, and the impending lawsuit was lost by Toyota.


Hopefully creativity will flourish and views on artistic/intellectual property rights change as China grows into the materialistic behemoth it appears to be destined to. That’s a scary thought considering the 1.3 billion people they have, most of whom haven’t even come up above the poverty line yet. Internet shopping has literally just hit the scene, websites are popping up by the minute, and Chinese people are flocking to the internet to find the best deal on that new ipod cover. And with prices already dirt cheap and shippers that will literally deliver the product to your door the same day or next, it’s hard to blame them. What’s going to happen when nearly every Chinese citizen is driving a car and owns a Macbook? That’s a lot of metal and plastic, but believe it or not, it’s happening right before my very eyes.


And that’s how it’s going down in this great country we call the Middle Kingdom, and that’s why I live here. Stay tuned next time as we explore more in depth the materialism and consumerism of China in the next installment of �Made in China.�

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