Successful case of criminal enforcement

Criminal enforcement related to
large counterfeiters’ network

Period: May 2020
Place: Guangdong Province, Fujian Province, Zhejiang Province, Shanghai
Type of case: Research, criminal enforcement
Target product: Food products


Despite our client’s long-term efforts of online anti-counterfeiting measures, since there are numerous malicious business operators that repeatedly commit offenses, we planned and assisted in the criminal enforcement against offenders to enforce stronger deterrence.

Winning methods

We leveraged the resources of the Chinese public security authorities and succeeded in collecting information related to the overall counterfeiters’ network, which subsequently led to a group arrest.


In addition to numerous counterfeiters receiving severe criminal punishment due to the criminal enforcement, this successful case example served as good publicity in the industry.

Preliminary online investigation

This case started out as online anti-counterfeiting measures, where the right holder (food manufacturer) was periodically investigating key Chinese EC sites and monitoring shops selling counterfeit goods.

In the course of its investigation, our client prepared a list of particularly malicious counterfeiters and began considering the possibility of assisting in the criminal enforcement of these counterfeiters.

Field survey of malicious business operators

Based on our client’s request, we conducted a field survey of the actual operational sites and management conditions of 5 malicious counterfeiters with similar characteristics, which were discovered during the online investigation, with the objective of their group arrest.

Among the above, the actual conditions of 3 counterfeiters were revealed, and we were able to confirm their management conditions and the inventory of a certain amount of counterfeit goods through our investigation. We also discovered that these counterfeiters were associated with each other.

Discussions with public security authorities and EC platforms

In light of the inventory quantity of the counterfeit goods that were discovered in the investigation and the past sales performance records on EC sites, we informally approached the relevant public security authorities on the possibility of criminal enforcement of the counterfeiters based on the minimum illegal business turnover (slightly less than 100,000 yuan) required for criminal prosecution, and received a positive response.

Subsequently, through coordination by the public security authorities, 4 parties including the public security authorities, EC platforms on which the counterfeit goods were being sold by the counterfeiters, right holder (client) and our members held discussions on how to specifically proceed with this case.

Execution of the criminal enforcement

Immediately before the criminal enforcement, we were able to obtain specific information which cannot be obtained in standard investigations (for instance, address of the main offender, other related counterfeiters, records of exchange of monies between counterfeiters, and logistics information) based on the additional investigations conducted by the public security authorities and the information provided by the EC platforms.

Based on the foregoing information, we conducted additional investigation of these counterfeiters immediately before the criminal enforcement to grasp the latest local status and the action patterns of those responsible.

At the stage of completely comprehending the overall picture of the counterfeiters’ network, the public security authorities executed a group arrest, over a period of 2 days, at 11 counterfeiter hubs throughout the country.

Results of the criminal enforcement

*Sites subject to criminal enforcement
2 manufacturing sites; 5 storage sites; 4 sales sites

*Quantity of seized items
4,753 finished products; 2,011 half-finished products; roughly 30,000 packages/boxes; and 8 manufacturing facilities of counterfeit goods

*Number of people in custody
41 persons (among which 11 persons faced criminal prosecution)

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