Sustainability Files :
Eliminating Counterfeit Goods around the World and Contributing to the Creation of a Healthy Society

As Panasonic develops its business worldwide, counterfeit Panasonic goods are also spreading on a global scale, particularly in China. Counterfeit goods lead to quality concerns and it can cause accidents and injuries to our customers. In addition, imitations also hinder the creation of a healthy society because they create economic losses by avoiding the proper payment of tax which leads the decrease of tax revenue and business incentives to develop new products. Fake products also present security issues which can be the potential funding of criminal and terrorist organizations. Moreover, confiscated counterfeit goods are treated as garbage when they are scrapped, which also have a big impact on the environment. Eliminating counterfeit goods should be considered as a Corporate Social Responsiblity. Here, we will discuss some of Panasonic's anti-counterfeiting measures.

Counterfeit Goods Spreading from B2C to B2B

Generally, it is estimated that around 80% of counterfeit goods originate from China, and these goods are spreading worldwide, catalyzed by the growth of the Internet. In recent years, counterfeit goods have also expanded from B2C products for consumers to B2B products that are designed for specific clients.

Counterfeit coin cell batteries throughout the world
Samples of Counterfeit products and the genuine ones used in the seminar in Vietnam
Counterfeit electronic devices found in the US

Increasing Counterfeit Cunning Practices

Counterfeiters were used to be easily identified that they were fake at a glance in the past but recent counterfeiters have developed its methods for tricking consumers into thinking that counterfeit goods are genuine Panasonic products. They use cunning techniques that make it legally challenging to quickly determine whether they are illegal. Fake products develops its marketing and selling method using every trick in the book.

China: Marketing using a company name that includes “Matsushita” and a brand that resembles Panasonic
Thailand: Sales using similar packaging but a different brand from Panasonic

The Danger of Counterfeit Goods

In October 2018, Panasonic brought a counterfeit electric iron ,which are distributed widely in Southeast Asia to Japan office and conducted a combustion experiment in its laboratory.
This experiment showed that the fake iron, even in normal use, showed abnormal red surface after six minutes and burned up after 13 minutes. It means that even normal usage can trigger a potential fire accident and proved the fake products are indeed dangerous.

Counterfeit goods are not usually equipped with sufficient safety standards,which eventually may cause unexpected risks.

Red hot after six minutes
Caught fire after 13 minutes

Eliminating Counterfeit Goods

Panasonic implements extensive measures globally to protect our customers and society. We adopt various measures for every stage of targets; such as production , distribution and sales.

For example;

  • Seizure action against manufacturing factories and retail shops involved in the counterfeiting trade. Seize the counterfeit goods on the spot.
  • Stop counterfeit goods for import/export at Customs
  • Online patrolling and the Take-down of the website which sells counterfeit goods
  • Monitoring the big tradeshows to stop the business chance for counterfeit goods
  • Raise awareness activities for electronics retailers not to sell counterfeit goods by cooperation with local authorities and lawyers
  • Public awareness campaign (education) for general consumers not to buy counterfeit goods
  • Lobbying activities to request foreign governments to improve to their legal systems to fulfill the better practices in enforcement.
Chinese authorities raiding a counterfeiting business
Raising awareness among Pakistani retailers
Holding a seminar at the Brazilian National Customs Authorities on identifying counterfeit items