Shanghai Police Bust Fake LEGO Manufacturing Gang

By Urban Family, May 2, 2019

0 1


This article originally appeared on our sister website, Urban Family Shanghai.

By Yuzhou Hu

Consumers of the ultra-popular toy brand LEGO discovered that they might not have been purchasing the real thing. Last week, Shanghai police busted a gang accused of selling a whopping RMB200 million (USD29.7 million) worth of knockoff LEGO products, reports

According to police, a Shenzhen-based company called LEPIN first appeared on their radar last October. The company was selling products that bore an uncanny resemblance to LEGO toy sets. The major difference between LEPIN and LEGO was that LEPIN products sold for one-tenth the price of LEGO's official sets. 

The counterfeit toys were sold at department stores throughout China and online at T-Mall and JD. The knockoff toys were even spotted in shops in Russia and Germany. 

On April 23, Shanghai and Guangdong police successfully tracked down the Shenzhen-based gang and arrested four suspects. Police seized nearly 100 production molds and over 630,000 fake toy sets.

201905/fake-lego-01-2c6f16.jpgConfiscated fake products. Image via The Paper

"The gang started pirating LEGO products back in 2015," one of the officers said to The Paper. "By selling their products at a rather low price via various channels, they had sold products worth over RMB200 million (USD29.7 million)." The investigation is ongoing.

Oddly enough, not everyone agrees that the group did anything wrong.  

"The success of LEPIN is the perfect proof of how expensive LEGO is," commented one netizen.

"Why so serious? They are just kids' toys," complained another. "LEGOs cost too much for me to afford."

However, some netizens support the actions of the police.

"It's not toys which are expensive," stated one netizen. "What truly matters is intellectual property, which is priceless."

[Cover image via The Paper]

This article was originally published by our sister magazine Urban Family Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the Urban Family website, or follow the Urban Family WeChat account (ID: urbanfamilyshanghai).

more news

Fake Art Show in China Rips-Off Work of Two Japanese Icons

While China has become somewhat infamous for its copyright infringements, falsifying the work of globally known artists might be a bridge too far.

Shanghai Woman Loses ¥1.2 Million to Fake US Soldier Boyfriend

It is said that a man in uniform is hard to resist.

WATCH: QQ AR Feature Educates You on ¥100 Bill

If you've got a ¥100 bill in your wallet, give this a try.

Your Kids Will Love These Fun NERF Toys, On Sale Right Now

Get your summer break on with these awesome kids toys from NERF, now on sale!

13 Busted for Selling Fake Imported Fruit in Shanghai

Nearly 1.1 million pieces of fruit with counterfeit logos from Dole, Zespri, Sunkist and other well-known brands were sold.

The 10 Most Shameless Chinese Ripoffs of 2017

China is notorious for its shanzhai (counterfeit) products. We've counted down the worst Chinese ripoffs of 2017.

14,000 Fake Bottles of Wine Seized in Shanghai and Xiamen

Police discovered and confiscated 14,000 bottles of fake Australian wine during a raid on three warehouses in Shanghai and Xiamen, arresting six people in the process.

Man Busted for Selling 'Fake Water' in Shanghai

He's accused of selling more than RMB150,000 worth of counterfeit Nestle and Nongfu Spring water.

1 User Comments

    In Case You Missed It…

    We're on WeChat!

    Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

    7 Days in Shanghai With

    Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


    Download previous issues

    Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

    Visit the archives

    Get the App. Your essential China city companion.