Integrating consumers’ motives with suppliers’ solutions to combat Shanzhai: A phenomenon beyond counterfeit

Yao Qin, Linda Hui Shi, Lei Song, Barbara Stöttinger, Kang (Frank) Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Imitation goods are widely spread throughout the global business world. Shanzhai imitation ([Figure presented]) represents a type of imitation that mimics the original brand through surface or functional similarities but often provides enhanced or innovative features adapted to local market needs. Although both practitioners and academics have studied and provided solutions to combat counterfeits, solutions for original brand manufacturers to address threats from Shanzhai products are lacking. In this article, we first differentiate Shanzhai products from counterfeits. Using a mixed-method approach that combines interviews and laboratory experiment results, we then identify social, individual, functional, and financial (SIFF) factors as driving forces behind consumers’ purchasing of Shanzhai products. Shanzhai buyers place more weight on functional value and price/quality ratio than do counterfeit buyers, who in turn favor social value and materialism more than Shanzhai buyers. Finally, we provide several recommendations to original manufacturers from both the demand and supply sides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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