Counterfeit Goods Double in South Korea with Covid-19

Amidst the never-ending future of the coronavirus, counterfeit apparel has doubled in South Korea due to an increase of online shopping.

Photo Credit: Michel Setboum/Getty Images

South Korea has seen an alarming rise in sales of fake goods as the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) calculated a 204% increase compared to January-August last year. Chung Kee-Hyun, director of the intellectual property investigation division at KIPO, has determined that the sharp rise of counterfeit goods sales is due to the increase of online shopping exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Dubbed as the ‘home of 

According to Statistics Korea, this 204% increase means that e-commerce stores have welcomed ₩15.2 trillion KRW in sales compared to January-August last year. The most popular and highest rate of sales go by bags (31.7%); clothing (26%); shoes (18%); wallets (6%); watches (5%).  

However, it is difficult to determine if this sharp rise will call for any investigation as Statistics Korea has reported that less than 3% of reports have led to an actual investigation. This is not that surprising to hear as Korea is well known for its counterfeit culture and many dupes of famous brands such as Supreme and Louis Vuitton can be found in most street side stalls all over the country.

Though, KIPO has revealed that they will be looking into cracking down on this particular case with the use of stronger investigative measures such as digital forensics and investigative personnel. They are also striving to introduce a reimbursement system where unknowing buyers may be given compensation. 

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