Earlier in August, federal prosectors in New York charged five people in connection with a Nike Air Jordan counterfeiting scheme who were trying to smuggle over 300,000 fake Air Jordans from China before selling them across the United States, and would have cost Nike at least $73 million in lost profit.
VICE News Tonight on HBO has just released a new short documentary that delves into the fake sneaker black market in Putian, China, which is noted as the "city of fakes."
Linking up with Chan, (a.k.a. Ch@n from Reddit's /r/repsneakers, who is a counterfeit seller himself), he provides a guide through the black market for fake shoes in Putian, and talks about how he doesn't generally fear police raids and potential lawsuits, but instead, his biggest fear are sneakerheads critiquing his fake sneakers.
"Unfortunately, it's just the hard and fast rules of doing business. You meet difficult customers. You'll meet cheaters, you meet scammers who will be out there to cheat you off a pair of shoes," Chan said. "So, unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, especially when you're on a public domain like the Internet."
Additionally, since the black market is no secret in Putian, Chan is benefiting greatly from the business, as his high-quality knock off pairs are heavily demanded by buyers across the world.
"I've spoken to some of our customers some of them are high school students some are college students university students. So yeah these are our main crowd generally," Chan told VICE News Tonight. "It's usually the kids themselves were very resourceful. They understand about replicas they understand that these are high-quality sneakers and they come finding you saying, hey I'd like to buy some high-quality replicas from you."
Enjoy the piece above, then after, watch our exclusive series, 'Counterfeit Culture: Moscow' exploring Russia’s fashion black market.