The Russian online market is flooded with counterfeits։ Which segment products are mostly counterfeit?

July 17, 2023  18:01

The share of counterfeit versions of foreign-made electronics on Russian online trading platforms has doubled within a year, and now it is at least 30% in the segment of smartphones and laptops, and 63% in the case of smart watches, reports the Russian newspaper Kommersant, citing the data of IQ Technology, a legal agency that protects the interests of technological brands in Russia. In addition, the most common counterfeit products are those of Samsung and Apple. Online trading platforms strongly disagree with the presented statistics.

IQ Technology experts analyzed 15,000 products from Ozon, Wildberries, Yandex.Market, Sbermegamarket and AliExpress and found that from July 2022 to July 2023, the share of counterfeit in the most popular segments was almost doubled, and sometimes even more. For example, if in 2022 counterfeit smartphones made up 12% of the supplied smartphones, now the share of counterfeit products has reached 31%. The situation is similar in the segment of laptops (from 22 to 31%), smart watches (from 35 to 63%) and headphones/speakers (from 27 to 69%). Smaller household appliances have started to be sold more actively: their share increased from 15 to 34%.

According to IQ Technology, Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi products are most often counterfeited among smartphones. Although counterfeit versions are similar to the originals, they differ in size and other specifications, typically the devices are of lower quality, have worse hardware and packaging, and counterfeit iPhones use Android instead of iOS. It is known that counterfeit versions are produced, for example, in Pakistan, China, India.

In addition, some platforms refused to comment on the situation. However, an unnamed representative of one of the marketplaces clarified that changes to the Consumer Rights Act passed in 2018, which added a definition of "online product aggregator" to the law, prohibit interference with sellers' product descriptions. "If the online trading platform changes or removes the word 'original' from the description of the product, it will take responsibility for the product, which no one wants to do," Kommersant quoted him as saying.

The newspaper also notes that if earlier copyright owners themselves were interested in the protection of trademarks and actively fought against counterfeiting, now in some cases there is simply no one engaged in such protection, because many companies have left Russia, and sellers of counterfeit goods are no longer afraid of being sued by them. 

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