China has a well-earned reputation as the international leader in fakes and only looks to have extended their lead this year. We’ve chosen ten of your favorites, some for their convincing facades and others for their sheer ridiculousness.
10) Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building
While playing war games in the wilds of Inner Mongolia, the People’s Liberation Army decided to spruce up the barren desert environment with a building that just so happened to look a whole lot like Taiwan’s presidential palace. What are the odds!
9) Fudan University’s promo video
To promote itself, Fudan University in Shanghai, one of China’s flagship institutions, released a video starring a female alumnus who went on to achieve great things. However, it didn’t take long for keen-eyed observers to notice some striking similarities between the Fudan promo video and one made by the University of Tokyo.
Fudan was quickly forced to pull the video and whip together a new, rather dull one.
8) Fake Viagra
Enterprising Hunan gangsters mixed cornflower with genuine Sildenafil, better known as the impotence medication Viagra, and forced their staff to test the product before sale. To ensure effectiveness, they took quality testing to the next level by directly sending staff members home to their wives or girlfriends to ensure the “viability” of their homemade product.
“At least we did human testing [on our drug]. We were serious,”
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7) U.S. Capitol Building that has became a home for squatting vendors
Originally intended to be a luxury hotel, this copy of the US Capital Building remained vacant for years, but now is home to vagrant food vendors. The building features five floors and is configured in a U-shape, remaining faithful to many of the design elements of the original, namely the domed roof and Romanesque columns.
Other architectural wonders erected by China this year included: The Great Pyramid and Sphinx of Chuzhou. the Shijiazhuang Louvre Pyramid, The Bean of Xinjiang, the Arc de Triomphe of Zhengzhou, and, of course, the Chongqing Park Güell that functions as a toilet.
6) Fake rice
A serious risk to the consumers’ digestive systems, plastic rice sold on the Chinese market has found its way into various Asian countries, including India, Indonesia and Vietnam. The fake rice is made by mixing potatoes, sweet potatoes and synthetic resin, and reportedly doesn’t take so great.
Later in the year, even shoddier fake rice made from paper was found being sold in Guangdong.
5) $19.6 million dollar stockpile of knockoff iPhones
There is nothing more pined over by the Chinese consumer than an iPhone, with that in mind a company was caught in Beijing producing 41,000 fake Apple iPhones. While fake iPhone production certainly isn’t a new phenomenon in China, these knockoffs were apparently even being exported overseas.
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4) 120,000 fake face masks
Just as this year’s airpocalypse was occurring throughout China, these fake masks were found in two separate raids during inspections at a Shanghai customs site. The bootleg king of this operation is still at large.
3) 3 million fake condoms
Shanghai authorities arrested nine people and confiscated an ungodly amount of counterfeit Jissbon and Durex brand condoms in April after breaking up a 12 million yuan manufacturing ring spread across seven provinces and cities.
2) Knockoff interrogation center
Four con-artists had money on the mind when they built an imitation interrogation room to extort money from officials. The center took 3 months to carefully construct and decorate, somehow costing 200,000 RMB. Unfortunately, the con artists were found out and arrested when they actually tried to implement their wild scheme, but that doesn’t make the effort any less impressive.
1) Shanzhai China Construction Bank
The greatest achievement in fakery this year has to be the knockoff bank built in Shandong by one enterprising farmer. The man equipped the place with card readers and passbooks, and even staffed it with his fifteen year old daughter and her two classmates. The farmer made away with 40,000 RMB before he was caught.
WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS…
By Mary DeMay