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China is opening a fake brands shopping mall in Nanjing for shops that best understand how to rip-off international trademarks. But the in-your-face shopping center has the city's mayor taking some heat from the sensibilities of the Western press. It's a little too blatant, even for China.
Pictured is the knock-off mall's Pizza HuH restaurant. Non-English speakers may be easily fooled by the graphic similarity between Huh and Hut.
To understand, imagine this scenario: You are a native English speaker and are visiting an outskirt of Beijing, China. There are no English words for you to instantly warm up to. Fortunately, you recognize the rough shape of the Chinese word and font style for Mom's. But these foreign words are not comfortable friends. (Note: Foreigners retain names in their own language more easily than English words.) You see a familiar red roof top logo of Mom's Pie but mistake the graphically similar 蚂 for 妈 ('Ant' for 'Mom'). So you end up eating Ant Pie.
The end result? Not only did considerable money and marketing efforts of Mom's Pie get usurped almost for free by the counterfeiter, but also Mom's Pie loses customers. It loses customers for the moment because the customer eats at the counterfeiter's. But even more alarming to the brand is that it may lose customers for the long-term. People that the brand spent years to develop. Because for those who were mislead to take a bite of the ant pie, it will be a cold day in hell before they eat anything smacking of Mom's Pie again. Bad memories.
Read the full story and see Chinese counterfeit brands such as O McMcDnoalds, Buckstar Coffee, and more at the U.K.'s Mirror.