This mall in China may be the most epic knockoff ever. You’ve seen fake Chanel bags, but a fake Chanel store? That would be next to the fake Prada store, the fake Starbucks coffee shop and the fake Tiffany’s. Need cash to shop at these fake boutiques? Head over to the fake Standard Chartered bank.
Wanda Square in Shenyang, Liaoning Province in China has virtually every luxury store under the sun, with a few twists: At this mall, Cartier is renamed Cairter, and Starbucks becomes Starbocks.
A Shenyang local discovered the mall and uploaded photos to Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter. Chinese journalists visited the site and determined the mall was “shanzhai,” which is slang for an obvious fake, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua. One Weibo user wrote, “Shanzhai has reached its limit!” Others called it “despicable” and “shocking.”
The shops are not open for business, and the storefronts and signs are apparently part of developer Wanda Group’s scheme to promote the space and attract investors. A representative from Wanda Square told reporters that the mall did not actually sell store space to these luxury brands and are only using the logos for an attractive appearance, according to Xinhua. The commercial spaces run nearly $7,200 per square meter.
Legal experts told Xinhua that Chinese law regarding a fake mall like this one is murky. Though relevant laws stipulate that it is illegal to use other brands’ trademarks without permission, it is difficult to identify the companies’ losses when the shops are not open or selling goods, allowing offenders like the Wanda Group to avoid getting sued.
Apparently, this isn’t the only fake luxury mall by the Wanda Group. A commenter on the blog Shanghaiist said that Wanda also built one in Changsha, Hunan Province, China.