In what WWD is calling “an unprecedented collaboration,” authorities from the U.S. and China teamed up to shut down a major Chinese counterfeiting operation. About 80 people were arrested as part of the raid that took place last week in the southern Guangdong province. The target: the Chinese counterfeit kingpin Jun Qian, who has been one of the country’s biggest counterfeit manufacturers since 2009. Following his arrest, Jun Qian reportedly admitted to the counterfeit of 960,000 bags intended for sale in the U.S. and Middle East.
Jun Qian claimed he began counterfeiting when his leather-goods business hit hard times in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2009.According to China’s Ministry of Public Security, in addition to Jun Qian’s arrest, approximately 40 different counterfeit manufacturers were shut down, and 20,000 counterfeit bags were seized (including Louis Vuitton, Coach and Hermès fakes), as well as a very large amount of machinery and raw materials. In total, the entire counterfeiting operation is estimated to be worth $802 million.