Home > Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) > Fake/Unlicensed Body Shop in Fujian, China

Fake/Unlicensed Body Shop in Fujian, China

November 16th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was in Xiamen in Fujian province earlier in the year and took a walk along the pedestrian shopping street before enjoying a rare stroll along the nearby beach. I am usually too busy to enjoy the city whenever I go there so this was a treat.

Fake Body Shop in Fujian, China

Fake Body Shop in Fujian, China

However on my walk of I came across this little beauty. It’s clearly an unlicensed Body Shop store. The products within appeared genuine and from Hong Kong but all signage and interior design was a cheap and poor imitation mock up of the real thing.

The service staff were all happy to tell me the products came from Hong Kong and in my opinion they looked like they did. While that should be enough to convince me I was about to buy the real thing, I’ve been in China too long to take it at face value. The simple fact of the matter is, if it is not being sold in a licensed store, there is simply no way to be sure.

Mainland China is certainly no stranger to fake stores and products. We have the now infamous fake Apple Stores in Kunming, the fake Toni & Guy Store in Beijing, and believe me I’ve inadvertently cut myself shaving on my fair share of fake Gillette razor blades bought in local shops! Our own customers at Enter the Panda have come to us with real concerns about the IPR of their China-made products.

The Body Shop is unfortunately not yet officially selling in China, due to a claim by late founder Dame Anita Roddick that “cosmetics sold there have to be tested on animals“.  As a result, like other unavailable overseas products, when you live here you have to resort to travelling to somewhere nearby like Seoul or Hong Kong, or wait for friends who are visiting home to bring them back for you (incidentally, we’re almost out of Berocca if anyone’s in the UK)!

Real Body Shop, Hong Kong

Real Body Shop, Hong Kong

I have a lot of friends that buy Hong Kong imported Body Shop goods for sale on virtual stores such as Taobao and various other e-commerce websites. These stores claim to be selling the real deal. It could just be me (I’ll admit I’m not the most seasoned of online cosmetics shoppers), but I still don’t feel comfortable with this as I am always scared of putting something fake on my already over-sensitive skin! Ebay also lists Body Shop items from ‘Gold/Top rated’ sellers and I personally wouldn’t consider purchasing from there either.

The Body Shop has some absolutely wonderful organic, cruelty free, fair trade products and I can understand a market like China’s having a growing demand for these. However, I think the longer this kind of unlicensed trading goes on, especially in cosmetics, the more damage this does for the brand in this country. Or does it?

Will the exclusivity drive the brand to be more desirable as an ‘exotic’ item? Either way, I think some better authentication from the brand or owners, L’Oreal, will surely help.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or email us.

Check out the links to popular sites selling ‘genuine’ Body Shop items:

And how about this not so authentic website selling Body Shop goods in China:




  1. Sandra
    November 16th, 2011 at 21:43 | #1

    You are so right. That’s why I fly back home every year to buy baby stuff for my kids. At the beginning my hushand said I was crazy to buy baby shampoo, lotion, baby food from the States. Now he understand why.

  2. Sue
    November 19th, 2011 at 18:35 | #2

    There is a dark side in China, but there is also a shiny side here, just as many countries in the world like UK, America……Thanks for your kind reminder and also look forward to your articles about the lovely country! Have a wonderful weekend!

  1. No trackbacks yet.