Meet The Top 10 Chinese Knockoffs

While the NY Times picks on a small apparel company over the logo of a dead newspaper and the National Pork Board wants you to know that Unicorn is not the other white meat, countless companies in China are actually infringing on trademarks, often with hilarious results.

That’s why put together their list of the Top 10 Chinese Knockoffs:

1. HiPhone and APhone A6: One of the earliest iPhone clones, the HiPhone was being sold for as little as $100. But as Wired put it, the HiPhone earned it’s name because “you’d have to be high to actually buy it.”

2. iPed: This iPad knockoff might have a smaller screen but it does have things the pricier device doesn’t: camera, USB port and expandable memory slot.

3. Goojje: Launched in January when Google threatened to leave China, this knockoff search engine has received a cease-and-desist from Google. Alas, Goojje has neither ceased nor desisted.

4. Nat Nat Shoes: These sneakers look a lot like Converse Chuck Taylors, but with an addition Converse had never considered — a zipper around the sole of the shoe that opens up to convert the hi-top to a sandal!

5. Shanzhai Street: In Nanjing, China, there’s an entire street of knockoff eateries. You can dine at Pizza Huh, or KFG, grab a coffee at Bucksstar and the polish it all off with some Haagon Bozs ice cream.

6. China’s U.S. Landmarks: Time called this category “China’s White Houses,” but it’s a lot more than just the White House replica — complete with oval office and gallery of U.S. presidents — in Hangzhou. There’s also the miniature Washington Monument and Mount Rusmore. And don’t forget the Capitol replicas in Wuxi and Fuyang.

7. China’s Next Top Model: There’s no Tyra Banks here, but there are plenty of attractive Chinese women attempting to outpose each other on this knockoff show. There are also two knockoffs of American Idol called Super Boy and Super Girl. And a wannabe Project Runway whose title roughly translates into Magical Talented Designers.

8. Shanghai’s World Expo Song: To promote the country’s 2010 World Expo, a host of popular Chinese stars, including Jackie Chan and Yao Ming, joined voices for a tune with the catchy title of “2010, We Are Waiting For You.” Unfortunately, the song was apparently a knockoff of a Japanese song by Mayo Okamoto.

9. China’s Fine Art Factory: Much like Florence in the Italian Renaissance, the small Chinese village of Dafen is producing masterpiece after masterpiece on canvas. Except these are just reproductions of masterpieces by anyone from Picasso to Da Vinci to Van Gogh. Dafen is responsible for 60% of the world’s oil painting market. So that’s where they get all those paintings for the expos at the Airport Hilton…

10. Huanhai Landscape VA3 and Lifan 320: Is that a Lexus RX? Nope, that’s a Huanhai Landscape VA3. And s that a MINI Cooper? No, it’s a Lifan 320. But like many of the knockoffs on this list, the Lifan has some things the MINI doesn’t — four doors and a price tag of only $7,500. Of course, remember that sometimes in life — you get what you pay for.

Top 10 Chinese Knockoffs []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Michael Belisle says:

    I’d be more upset about #6, but I’ve been to Las Vegas.

  2. Beeker26 says:

    I get such a kick outta some of these knockoffs, especially the iPhone and iPad. I don’t have the guts to actually buy one, but I find the whole thing soooo entertaining!

  3. Hoss says:

    “KFG,” “Pizza Huh,” “Haagon Bozs,” and “Bucksstar Coffee.”

    Are we sure these are knockoffs, or possibly ingenious marketing?

  4. b.k. says:

    #7 shouldn’t really count, considering most of our shows are knockoffs of UK shows.

    • Nytmare says:

      Presumably the US shows are contractually licensed with money changing hands toward the rightful concept originator.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      …which themselves are often licensed from other countries….

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I agree.
      Look how many cooking competition shows we have just in the U.S.

      And a lot of countries have singing/talent competition shows.

  5. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:



  6. Bakergirl says:

    Wow, is there nothing the Chinese can’t do? I mean knock off? I’m slightly disturbed…Yet intrigued….. KFG:

  7. m1k3g says:

    Last year in China we picked up some great Ralph Luren Polo shirts, along with some Tommy Hillfinders, and a really nice Rollez watch. Also saw a store called ‘Amandi’ in Bejing.

    • Daemon Xar says:

      I have a number of North Face jackets with zippers on the wrong sides, or with the name slightly mispelled.

  8. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    Regarding #6, has anyone been to Window of the World in Shenzhen?

    China also has a knock-off of a Hummer but with a ZERO star rating. My wife is addicted to a Chinese soap opera which turns out to be almost a direct translation of Ugly Betty.

  9. diasdiem says:

    Instead of Col. Sanders, KFG features a picture of General Tso.

  10. ChemicalFyre says:

    I saw a peddler hocking ‘Adidos’ shoes once. That was pretty funny.

    • Bohemian says:

      I saw a guy in line at the store wearing one of those warm up suits with the big logo on the back only there was an extra “d” in adidas.

  11. COBBCITY says:

    “While the NY Times picks on a small apparel company over the logo of a dead newspaper “
    I am so sorry. The New York Times OWNS the copyright to the name the “small apparel company” has used without permission. You ran the story.

    So if a small business takes a trademark from a large one (even one they happen to not be using at the moment) and gets sued for doing so, that is “picking” on them? NO. It’s enforcing trademark and copyright laws.

    Come on, Consumerist staff, let’s be fair. If a small burger joint started putting out a McLean and McDonald’s sued them even though it hasn’t been on the menu in years, you would understand THAT but this is unfair?

    • Beeker26 says:

      First off, it’s a trademark, not a copyright. And second, yes they are picking on them. The company was in no competition against the NYT. They weren’t taking any business away from them. The Times hasn’t even used the trademarked name or logo in decades. It’s not like they are planning on reviving the paper. They can barely keep the paper they have afloat. The whole thing comes across as dickish.

  12. Hi_Hello says:

    those nat nat shoes look awesome. sneaker > sandal.

  13. MarvinMar says:

    I just love the Chinese Pen Bopken.
    He is sor hirarious.

  14. misterfuss says:

    I went to site and nearly fell off my chair when I saw the “equivalent” buttons to Google’s and buttons.

    I am slightly disappointed that the button didn’t function like the button.

    • misterfuss says:

      Maybe I should have previewed my comment since I just realized that certain characters were not recognized.
      Google’s buttons are titled “Google Search” and “I’m feeling lucky.” Goojje’s buttons are titled “click the goojje” and “kill all loneliness.”

  15. shepd says:

    The iPed also has a better OS on it than the iPad (Android). The only thing it is actually lacking is horsepower and RAM. Give it a few months and the iPed (and its kin) should (but probably won’t because people buy based on look and feel instead of utility) eat the iPad’s lunch. Flash, open development, and OS transparency FTW!

    Did I mention the iPed and similar devices don’t require you to use a pen knife to fit a SIM into them?

    • Beeker26 says:

      The biggest problem with most of these devices is that they’re not well built. The screens are usually of a very poor quality and aren’t very responsive. This is why it’s a real crapshoot. Without finding some kind of independent review site you have no way of really knowing what you’re getting before you buy. And I wouldn’t hold out much hope of a refund if you’re not satisfied.

      • Jay911 says:

        “Not of high quality” understates greatly the strength of the average Chinese auto. The youtube videos make them look like they’re made out of something with the compressive strength of old Coke (or maybe Coge) cans.

  16. misterfuss says:

    I was playing with again and clicked on the “Goojje Promotion” link at the bottom of the page. The response I got was:
    I copied this and pasted into Google translate and had the following translation:
    “Page not found, Gu Sister wait to take you home.”

  17. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    A high top sandal? Lovely. Classy too.

  18. The Marionette says:

    Isn’t the hiphone made in korea, and not china?

  19. Carlee says:

    Do they pay to produce Chinese versions of tv shows from other countries? I know that a bunch of shows in the U.S. are knockoffs of British shows, but I’m pretty sure there would be some sort of agreement. Because otherwise, the original producer/creator could sue for copyright (assuming the knockoff show was similar enough to the original).

    Though NYT might seem small and petty for suing over a logo of a defunct paper, the fact of the matter is that the Chinese company is infringing on their trademark. How many times do we have to hear about a Chinese company infringing on trademark or copyright? I think it’s a cultural issue – the Chinese have the technical ability to produce gizmos (let’s say, the iPad or a similar type device) but it seems like they are not big on innovation. So while people in other countries are inventing stuff, and outsourcing to China to produce said stuff, the intellectual property is then passed on to Chinese companies who can then produce their own versions (albeit not as good as the real thing) and sell it at cheaper prices.

    Or at least that’s the way it seems. Obviously, it’s not just Chinese companies that counterfeit products (I’m sure there are people right here in the good ol’ US of A that do).

  20. yankinwaoz says:

    The best was that fake Disneyland from a year or two ago. That was amazing.

    • jamar0303 says:

      There’s going to be a real one in Shanghai in 2015 or so. The problem is that it’s going to be even SMALLER than the one in Hong Kong. I’m still unsure what the point of building one in China is (Shanghai people with the means go to the Tokyo one because it’s bigger and better; those without the means are probably not going to be paying the prices Disney will want, seeing as how the local theme parks are cheaper anyhow).

  21. razdigital says:

    Goojje has a dirty mind, see what you get when you type in japan and china and let the auto filler do the rest.

  22. p. observer says:

    really they only included one example of iphone knockoffs becuase i know where you can get a “ifone”

  23. fuceefacee says:

    I want one of those iPed’s.

  24. Ben says:

    I kind of want an iPed…

  25. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    If you switch Goojje to english, the “Search” button changes to “Click the Goojje”, but the “I’m feeling Lucky” button changes to “Kill All Loneliness” – awesome!

    Mix that with what Razdigital suggested and it all makes sense now…

  26. Bob Lu says:

    Goojje is more like a parody than a knockoff.

    This post misses some of the “gems”. My personal favorite: Dingoo A320. It is not really a knockoff of any specific produce (although the design sort of looks Wii-ish), but when you figure out what it does, you will just wow…