A Chinese finance company calling itself Goldman Sachs has been spotted in China's Shenzhen city, located near the border with Hong Kong. The latest fake adds to the existing list of crude Chinese replicas of cars, Rolexes and iPhones.
Goldman Sachs (Shenzhen), whose English and Chinese names closely resemble that of the New York-based institution, has denied it was a deliberate attempt to copy a famous name. It maintains it has no links to the US firm.
"We don't have any connection with the US Goldman Sachs. We just picked the name out, and it's not intentionally the same," a female staff member, who attended the phone at the office, told the AFP news agency.
On its website, the counterfeit Goldman Sachs says it is one of Shenzhen's largest financial leasing firms. The existence of the Shenzhen company was thought to have been originally revealed by a US casino workers union, International Union of Operating Engineers, which has asked the Chinese authorities to investigate. Goldman Sachs Shenzhen is thought to be operational since May 2013.
"There have been quite a few cases where Chinese individuals or organizations have registered in China the trademark of an existing and established overseas brand," Paul Haswell, who is with the law firm Pinsent Masons, told Bloomberg. "It's notoriously difficult for an overseas claimant to persuade the Chinese courts that there has been trademark infringement. There's still a practice of whoever registers first wins."