Malaysia’s Petaling Street among the most notorious for fake branded goods: Report

The bustling and booming Petaling Street area is known for its variety of chic and cool bars as well as hip cafes that don’t seem to last six months.

But in case you didn’t know, the area is also popular for another thing – the Petaling street bazaar, which is right smack in the middle of all that trendiness.

Besides good ol’ local street food, people also visit the street in search of fake branded goods.

From Chanel to Burberry, the bazaar’s sellers have it all. You can shop for imitation items such as watches, shoes, handbags, wallets, sunglasses, and other consumer goods you need to keep up with whatever is trending at the moment,

Hence, it is no surprise when a report by the United States Trade Representative recently revealed that Petaling Street is one of the most notorious in the world for counterfeit goods and piracy.

The Chinatown tourist hotspot was the only location in the country that was mentioned in the 2022 report.

“Although market activity has not returned to pre-pandemic levels because foreign tourism remains depressed, the majority of goods that are currently available appear to be counterfeit.

“Even when right holders try to initiate enforcement activities, they report difficulties due to local favoritism and the involvement of organised crime at this market”, reads the 2022 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy report.

The report also noted that the local government has remained unbothered by the black market business.

Also referred to as the Notorious Markets List, the report identifies 33 physical markets and 39 online markets that it says “reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy”.

The online piracy markets it mentions include platforms Shopee and Taobao.

Bangkok, Jakarta also notorious for counterfeit products 

Other Southeast Asian countries with venues listed in the report are Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Among them, the MBK Centre of Bangkok, the report noted, is back to the vendors’ pre-pandemic sales level for counterfeit items.

“With the return of tourists, Thailand has taken action to address the sale of counterfeit products, including high-profile public education campaigns against intellectual property (IP)-infringing goods, inspections by police and IP office representatives on a regular basis, and continued operation of the IP Enforcement Center, where consumers can take suspected counterfeit goods for inspection,” it said.

It added that counterfeit goods return to the market as soon as the local police leave after delivering verbal warnings to sellers, showing loose enforcement measures.

Indonesia’s Mangga Dua Market in Jakarta is also listed. The report said it is noted for selling counterfeit goods such as wallets, children’s items and fashion accessories.

“The ineffective raid by the local IP task force there lifts the illegal sales at the black market which attracts the foreign tourists as well as the locals,” it said.