hanghai police have a busted a gang who allegedly made more than 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) by manufacturing and selling fake Dyson-branded hair dryers.
Dyson, based in the UK, is one of the world’s most-trusted makers of hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, and the like. Its products are much coveted by China’s middle-class for their quality and durability. The gang was caught because its own devices didn’t live up to that reputation, according to local news reports.
In August an investigation was launched after Dyson reported that knockoff versions of its own hair dryers were being sold on Chinese online shopping platforms (gasp!) after they were tipped off by Chinese customers who had filed complaints about the poor quality of the products in question.
The investigation discovered that in a short time the gang had managed to establish a complex internal structure. Their Guangdong-based company had multiple different departments that handled the sale, manufacture, and storage of the fake Dysons which were sold in provinces across southern China along with Shanghai.
The gang was able to produce 500 to 600 hair dryers a day. According to police, the cost of producing a single knockoff hair dryer was 120 yuan. They would then sell the products off to a wholesaler for 650 yuan who would sell it online for as low as half the price of an authentic Dyson, which cost around 2,200 yuan ($320) in China.
A raid on the gang’s facilities in December ended with the arrests of 36 suspects along with 400 fake hair dryers, 1,500 half-finished products, and more than 200,000 spare parts being seized.