As part of a newly launched program combat the country’s counterfeit problem, a senior Chinese government official recently revealed just how rampant he thinks the problem is: according to him, half of all the Château Lafite wine sold in China is fake.
Decanter reports that Li Xinshi, president of the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine (CAIQ), stated this estimate at a recent conference in Bordeaux announcing the Chinese government’s launch of a new initiative called Protected Eco-Origin Product (PEOP) to protect against wine fraud.
According to him, the bulk of fake wines are being manufactured on boats moored in international waters off the coast of the mainland, where low-end wines are bottled in containers with high-end labels. While he was unable to say how many boats with these operations exist, he described the problem of fake wine in China as “very serious.”
Decanter reports that China has become the world’s biggest market for Bordeaux wine, accounting for almost 20 percent of the region’s wine exports by volume in 2013.