I was walking on the street in the Huaqiangbei area in Shenzhen and saw two guys pushing carts full of these boxes:
Used boxes that were originally full of expensive French champagne. Probably collected in a restaurant or a shop that sells bottles by the unit.
What do they contain now? I’d guess the bottles were also collected, re-filled, and carefully re-sealed.
I don’t want to make too many wild guesses here. Maybe they just re-use these boxes because they are nice looking (?). But this very much looks like counterfeiters doing their job… charging a truck in broad daylight, in downtown Shenzhen.
And it reminds me of a time I spotted some people filling branded cans of baby powder, on the road (actually, on a portion of the port that is usually deserted).
China has made progress in the fight against fake goods, overall. LV bags that “fell off a truck” are no longer in plain sight in shopping malls. They are still easy to find, but less visible.
However, controlling all these small rogue players is simply impossible. As long as they find something lucrative to do, I don’t see them turning to legal activities. Some brands have been trying to close them down, but it is akin to playing Whack-A-Mole. Shut 10 down, 20 new ones come up…