Chinese LED Luminare Market’s Copycat Phenomenon

News Source: 
China Building Materials (中國建材網)

China’s LED luminaire market faces serious copying issues, Chinese-language China Building Materials quoted a man in charge of a famous luminaire store in China. Some small enterprises dumping of fake LED luminares on the market has interfered with normal luminaire prices, according to the article. Small manufacturers are highly capable of imitating large brands; do not require R&D design fees or costs; and can quickly produce these replicated luminaires. It is difficult to differentiate these products from appearance alone. Small companies mass duplication of large companies hardly developed products has created huge differences in the crafting, material, and quality of lights with similar appearances. As a result there is a usually tremendous price differences.

Rome was not built in one day, and it will take more than one day to undo these problems. Many luminaire shops have started to take measures to meet their obligations to inform the market, monitor companies entering the market, and introduce manufacturers with good reputation and comprehensive after sales services. Other measures also include, reducing links in commodity circulation, creating a fair consumer environment and others. As the industry development, consumer concept changes, it is believed the luminaire market will gradually become regulated.

Decorative luminaires manufactured by Guangdong Province Zhongshan Gu Town have a 70 percent market share in the Chinese lighting industry, and has even been coined as the global “Decorative Luminaire City”. Products made here are exported globally to 190 countries. The decorative global luminaire market share is divided among Gu Town, French, Italian, and Japanese manufacturers. From its humble origins of simple packaging to an important site for imitating decorative lighting,Gu Town’s seven kilometer long decorative lighting manufacturing street has “lightened up” global light source.

In recent years, Chinese lighting electronic appliance industry has been quickly developing. The lighting industry has also undergone new changes. Chinese lighting manufacturers are moving towards the phase of large scale management and branding. However, imitating, copying, and counterfeiting products and similar product is still a serious issue.

The presence of me-too companies has greatly shortened decorative lighting products life cycles. This has indirectly sped up the replacement of decorative lighting products in the Chinese market, and caused chaotic market competition. In addition, lighting designers are facing increased pressure, and has wasted manufacturers with strong R&D team’s resources and labor results. 

“Gu Town has many decorative lighting products offering a dizzy array of choices, but not many are special,” said Tang Xiaolong, who travelled from Shanghai to procure decorative lighting products. “When I come to buy products, it seems all the products on this street are the same. Although, the decorative lighting products are replaced quickly in this town, basically all the products are pretty much the same. If I did not have a long-term partnership with a luminaire manufacturer, I would be completely clueless in which manufacturer to buy from.”  

Tang’s opinion represents distributors perspective. While a design director from a Gu Town decorative lighting manufacturer noted the renewal of products with similar styles, and the condition of copying products can be defined as “copy lamps.”

Spread of similar products

“Sometimes when I pass by shops, the lamps look alike,” said Shen Kongxian. “’Copy lamps’ are so common now, the industry has seen plenty of this that people have become numb. This is an unavoidable phenomemnon in the decorative lighting industry.”

According to a person in charge of a decorative lighting luminaire company, those in the industry can only implement two measures to avoid others from copying. The first is exporting all their products, and the second is not allowing the new lamps to enter China’s domestic market. The new products can only be hidden from public view. “You definitely can avoid people from copying by exporting all your lamps, but how many manufacturers have the capability to do so?” said Song Wenji. “If you do not want your manufactured products to enter the mainstream market, then what’s the point of making these products? The product value is also completely off the table.”

In the industry, decorative lighting manufacturers are preventing copying lamps by only informing the company leader and a couple of people the production and R&D of new products, another manufacturer told China Building Materials reporters. Everything about their new products is temporarily confidential.

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