BEIJING, April 21 -- Chinese tourists are not the targets in French government's campaign against counterfeit products, the French Embassy in Beijing said yesterday.
The embassy issued a statement in response to heavy media coverage of an incident involving a Shanghai tourist, whose fake Adidas bag was confiscated by a French customs official when he entered the country. He was also fined 50 euros (US$61.60).
Since January when brand inspectors began a crackdown at European customs stops, the man with the Adidas bag was the only Chinese tourist to face a fine, at least in France, according to Olivier Guyonvarch, press counselor of the French Embassy in Beijing.
Manufacturers, dealers, and buyers within European countries and those who enter European customs with large amount of counterfeit products are the target of the campaign, the statement said.
"Carrying one fake backpack won't cause problems," Guyonvarch said. "There must have been other reasons that triggered the fine and confiscation, such as poor communication between the Shanghai tourist and French customs office."
He added the embassy is still investigating the incident and waiting for a response from the French customs.
In response to the same incident, the State Tourism Administration yesterday also issued a notice, reminding Chinese tourists not to "wear, carry or purchase" fake brandname products to "avoid unnecessary troubles."
Last year, about 400,000 Chinese tourists visited France.
Guyonvarch said that inspections conducted throughout western Europe are more severe in France and Italy.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)