MAARSSEN, Netherlands – A well known fact, outsourcing brings great savings, but also brings new problems. Many companies have their products made in China –and this means that many Chinese companies have the technology (and the details!) to make these products for sales trough – let's call it 'unofficial channels'. Now some of the biggest golf-companies have stricken a blow against the piracy of their products. Acushnet, Callaway, Cleveland, Ping, Nike and Taylor Made have convinced Chinese enforcement authorities to raid manufacturers and even hotel-shops that made and sold fake clubs, bags and accessories. The total value of the good seized was more than US$ 1 million. But there is no need to go the a hotel in Guangzhou to buy fakes: the net is easier. A complete Callaway golf set, including stand-bag for € 140? no problem!
Closer to home: Shimano raingear for a fraction of the retail price, Vetta cycle computers up for grabs, parts like Specialized stems, Ritchey handlebars and seat posts for less than € 3.50 - the list is virtually endless, these are just examples. The fact that there is now some movement in the battle against these practises might be considered hopeful for all those companies that are loosing business trough 'cloning' or 'producing and selling more than the ordered amount…' Internet company Google recently was fined € 200.000 by a French court for letting people advertise their counterfeit wares – it seems the tide is turning.(MH)