SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean small and medium-sized watch makers are crying foul after suffering from heavy losses stemming from hundreds of models of fake luxury watches selling through a popular online shopping portals.
The Korea Watch Industry Association (KOWIC) said in a press release issued on Wednesday that hundreds of models of fake luxury watches including Rolex are selling through Coupang, one of the nation’s largest e-commerce platforms.
The KOWIC asked Coupang to stop selling such fake watches and issue compensation.
The association claimed that current trademark laws punish only the sellers of fake goods without requiring online marketplaces like Coupang, which runs the distribution channel, take legal responsibility.
According to the KOWIC, 684 different models of fake luxury watches are now selling through Coupang at prices ranging from 200,000-300,000 won (US$177-266) despite original prices ranging from millions of won to tens of millions of won.
One company, for example, is now selling fake luxury watches such as TAG Heuer and Rolex for about 200,000 won per piece, with a simple note saying that they are not original models but replicas.
This is not the first time that Coupang has been under fire for allowing the sales of fake watches.
The KOWIC held a press conference in June last year where it blamed Coupang for doing nothing to prevent the sale of fake luxury watches.
In response, Coupang said that it was striving to preemptively prevent the sales of fake goods by using dedicated staff and innovative technology, adding that the KOWIC was distorting the truth.
Coupang claimed that most of the companies selling fake products on its portal were conducting transactions in a secret way using direct messages, making it difficult to put an end to the practice.
The company added that it was running a 24-hour monitoring system through a dedicated team of about 100 employees, while using AI technology to prevent the sale of fake products.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)