China Fights Fake Games Sites

    December 3, 2007

Beijing is working to crack down on the illegal sales of 2008 Olympic merchandise on a number of unauthorized Web sites.

Law enforcement officials had investigated around 80 commercial and personal Web sites selling phony Olympic merchandise, or not having the proper licenses to sell the legitimate product, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.

"The supply channels on these illegal Web sites are chaotic," Xie Funing, a spokesman with the Olympic E-commerce Operation Centre told the paper. Some Web sites did not have legal proof of where their products came from and others had "exploited consumers’ urgency to buy (merchandise) by raising prices and ripping them off," Xie said.

Beijing Olympic organizers estimate making $70 million from merchandising from the 2008 Games, from around 4,000 products. Even with law enforcement officials getting tough on Olympic fraud, local media reports of police raiding fake Games souvenir and street vendors are common.

Earlier this year authorities seized almost 30,000 finished or half-finished Olympic fakes in the capital. They arrested a man in the southern island province of Hainan who swindled Internet users out of 400,000 yuan ($54,000) via a bogus version of the official Games Web site.