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SILK MARKET Beijing: Counterfeit Designer Brand Apparels at their Best

China is the factory of the world. We all know that. They manufacture everything from smartphones to ballpens. And they are good at counterfeiting too. I heard they even have a counterfiet version of Toyota cars there? How true?

If you want to get a sample at how good they are in China at copying goods, heed to the famous Silk Market.

Silk Street also known as Silk Market or Silk Street Market, is a shopping center in Chaoyang District Bejing notorious among international tourists for their wide selection of counterfeit designer brand apparel.

The Silk Street is located at Yonganli, just west of China World Trade Center.

The Silk Market is easily accessible by subway. Take subway Line 1 and disembark at Yong'anli Station and exit via Exit A.

Buses also ply the area.
Yonganli Intersection North (永安里路口北): 28, 43, 120, 126, 403, 639, 673
Yonganli Intersection West (永安里路口西): 1, 9, 43, 99, 120, 126, 205, 666, 668, 673, 728, 729


Don't expect a Divisoria-style marketplace where small vendors sell their goods on the sidewalk or small makeshift tents. I was actually imagining that but they are way more organized in China now. That used to be case actually until 2005 when the old alley-based Xiushui Market was replaced by the 5-storey modern mall. It's clean, spacious and most of all, air-conditioned. How convenient it is to buy fake goods.
Hollister , Diesel ,Burberry,D&G,Diesel.CK, Paul Smith, Nike,
Keapling, Adidas, Man, Abercrombie & Fitch and tons of Footbal jerseys too. Even my favorite Superdry, name it, they have it. And you can hardly notice it's fake because they are really top of the line fakes.

In addition to selling fashion apparels and accessories such as hats, handbags, shoes, belts, sportswear and silk fabrics like their predecessor, the new Silk Street has introduced traditional Chinese handicrafts, antiques, calligraphy, carpets, table cloths, bed coverings, paintings, hand-knit dresses, toys, electronic gadgets, trinkets, and fine jewelry.


The sign on each shop says "price as marked, no bargain please" but that is just a front. Sellers will start with a high offer so that when you bite then they win. I suggest you go around hunt for the clothes you are eyeing for and ask for the price so you have an idea how much they offer. Then try to haggle for 40-50% lower that asking price. If you get it at 50% discount then you are really good at haggling. In our experience though, they cut the offer to aroung 30-40 % of the original offer. At Beijing Silk Market, your haggling skills will prove helpful.
If there is one thing, the place is also notorious for their sale clerks who are really pushy. They even ask you what country you are from and they start talking to you in your language. I was surprised the clerk at the store we checked knows basic Tagalog expressions like maganda, gwapo, mahal, mura. For a country that can hardly speak English to talk Pinoy is impressive.

Intellectual Property Rights Disputes

One of the political incentives behind the transfer of the old Xiushui Market to the current Silk Street establishment was related to the unregulated sales of fake goods. The new Silk Street complex was viewed as a more effective battleground in regulating and eradicating trademark infringements among private retailers. On November 23, 2004, the Beijing Administrative Bureau for Industry and Commerce and Beijing Commercial Bureau listed the new Silk Street as one of nine streamlined markets in Beijing in accordance with "Strengthening Market Supervision and Crackdown on False Commodities." Since the grand opening on March 19, 2005, Silk Street has conducted reforms in an attempt to regulate and crack down on violations of IPR in the market. 

Despite the efforts, counterfeits were still found inside the shopping center. As a result, five global brand-name giants, which included Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton , Gucci and Burberry were granted compensation of 20,000 yuan (US$2500) each from the landlord and five of its stall holders on April 14, 2006. On June 7, 2006, a deal was signed with European luxury name brands promising to evict tenants found violating trademark rights. The Intellectual Property Rights Protection Fund of 30 million yuan (US$3.8m) collected from its tenants was established by Silk Street in a collective effort to curb infringements of trademark rights. On August 30, 2006, 30 vendors received 10 million yuan (US$1.3m) in rent refunds from that fund as a reward for respecting IPR protection laws. An estimated 80 per cent of vendors at Silk Street have acquired trademark authorization as of August 2006. source

Despite all the controversies, the Silk Market of Beijing is no doubt one of the famous places for bargain shopping in the city. Accessible, convenient, counterfeit designer brand apparel at its best!

It was our 5th day on the road and I was running out of something to wear so
I ended up buying a few items including two Superdy shirts. Each costing 50 RMB that's around 359 pesos a piece. Back in Manila, original Superdy shirt costs around 1,800 pesos. Very big difference in price but not in quality. Happiness!

PS: This post is not meant to support counterfeit items.

For more information 
on Silk Market Beijing, read