One of the first cannabis review websites on the internet to mention the issue of bogus THC vapes was DabConnection. Before the lung damage epidemic took hold, we had already begun to see the alarming trend of low-quality, unidentified vape cartridge manufacturers popping up all over. Since then, we have emerged as a key figure in the field.
However, we rarely have the opportunity to show readers the precise journey a black market good takes from manufacturing to your “plug from Cali.” Because the background to it involves much more than just illicit vaporizers. The US is losing what is more akin to an economic battle with China.
Start in China
Americans’ perceptions of China are wholly inaccurate. Many Americans mistakenly believe that because China is “Communist,” it lacks free enterprise, commerce, and even money. Yes, China has always had money. Although the Chinese version of Communism still adheres to a Marx-Lenin-Zedong standard at the top of the government, they have long since updated business practices. From 1979 until the present, China underwent economic reforms.
The Southeast Chinese commercial zone
Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangdong are the three provinces in China that handle essentially all of the production and export. They run along China’s Atlantic Ocean coastline from north to south and are the richest regions in terms of traditional capitalist trade. The city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, has a proverb that reads, “The mountains are high and the emperor is far away,” indicating that there is minimal government control over the city’s operations.
The underground market in Zhejiang, where everything from banking to highways has been privatized, is the subject of an eye-opening article in Reason magazine. Despite common preconceptions about China held by Americans, one of the best examples of libertarian anarcho-capitalism may be found right on the Chinese border.
Guangdong and Fujian
The provinces of Fujian and Guangdong are both the export manufacturing hubs of China and where the majority of the counterfeits and fakes originate, whereas the black market in Zhejiang appears to be mostly concentrated on creating goods for local consumption.
How about imitation condoms? phony iPhones? fake sports equipment phony cosmetics? falsified COVID-19 masks? counterfeit whiskey that also makes folks ill? Fake money would be the ultimate slap in the face. Wait, there’s a better one! based on phony gold, $2 billion in loans?
The Chinese black market and what they will fake have no bounds. The Chinese government tolerates counterfeiting without consequence unless international intellectual property rules put pressure on them to do so. They can freely copy anything. Someone needs to sample the air in China and test it to see if the air is also false.
Up to $600 billion is lost to counterfeit goods annually in the United States, 87% of which come from China. The rest of the world is also affected. China seems to be trying to undermine every company from every other country in terms of global trade. According to the NY Times, shoppers won’t purchase specific brands on Amazon since phony goods have infiltrated the site without their knowledge.
Alternative sales avenues into the US include Alibaba Group
We published a piece on the necessity for stronger enforcement of intellectual property rules in relation to vape businesses. We point out that Alibaba Group, which also owns Wish.com, DHGate, and numerous other online retail websites, is the main offender. They have in fact been sued by nations from all over the world because of their tolerance for fake goods.
Even though there are frequently reports that China is cracking down on the market for counterfeit goods in response to pressure from other nations, there is one compelling argument against this: The enormous Alibaba Group is essentially the Amazon of China. So far in 2020, they have earned $72 billion (CN509.711 billion). Compared to the Walt Disney Company in the US, which generated $69.5 billion in revenue in 2019,
As large as Disney, Alibaba Group is also. Think about that.
As we frequently note, DHGate.com is the source of the majority of counterfeit THC vape cartridge packing, which is all sold for pennies per item. Alibaba Group is the owner of DHGate.com. The packaging industry for online vape carts, however, encompasses much more:
Vapes Wholesale is essentially an Alibaba site dedicated to vape packing. After DHGate itself, the largest seller of counterfeit vape equipment.
Teesxvape – Exactly what the name implies, as well as imitation flower and food bags.
Cheapest Vape Supplies – Very little on this tiny website.
Another supplier of vape products that uses the label “Made in China” to reinforce the point.
Mid-sized website 420 Vape Bulk is becoming a more significant player in the fake cart market.
420 CBD Pen – Since they only sell THC vape fakes, they seem to be completely unaware of what CBD is.
Just the most significant sites we find; not even all of them. We discover a new distributor of empty vape packages on the internet while we are looking for a vape cartridge brand that is being imitated or a phony brand in general. The cycle is then occasionally completed when we discover a new bogus brand on one of these websites that we were unaware of beforehand.
It’s really simple to determine the Chinese province of origin for any vape counterfeiter featured on one of these sites, as we recently showed in our article on phony Moxies. The province and nation are listed under “about us” on the seller’s home page after you locate the cart and click “seller.”