Chinese fakes of Taiwan's award-winning chocolate run rampant

Pingtung’s award-winning cacao brands have fallen victim to counterfeiters

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Counterfeit chocolate from China. (Pan Men-an Facebook photo)

Counterfeit chocolate from China. (Pan Men-an Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The public is advised against purchasing Chinese counterfeits of award-winning cacao products from Taiwan’s Pingtung County.

The government of the southern county stated in a press release on Monday (Nov. 25) that a string of cases has emerged involving Chinese knock-offs of award-winning brands of chocolate from Pingtung. The fakes have been peddled across social media and e-commerce platforms using pictures stolen from the Taiwanese businesses.

Last week, Pingtung cacao producers claimed multiple medals at the International Chocolate Awards’ (ICA) World Final Competition in Guatemala. The achievement has placed a spotlight on the county’s rich variety of premium quality chocolate, including Tieguanyin tea-flavored chocolate, according to Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an (潘孟安).

The victims of the fraud include Choose Chius, Cacao Baby, and a number of other Pingtung-based brands. Consumers are urged to exercise caution when buying such products and to report them to the authorities via the 165 hotline for false advertising.

To help fight the scams, consumers should pay attention to irregularities when they encounter unusual URLs or website domains, unreasonable discount deals, untraceable customer service, offers of free shipment, and e-commerce websites without SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) — a secure web browsing mechanism, according to the Pingtung County Government.