Funny And Clever Chinese ‘Shanzhai’ Brands

KFG Chicken?
KFG 啃他鸡 = "Nibble His Chicken" (rest assured the innuendo applies in Chinese as well).

山寨 = shanzhai = literally “mountain stronghold” in reference to historical warlord holdouts that were outside of government control. A “shanzhai” edition product thus refers to products outside of government regulations that are widely reflected in the numerous fake and knockoff electronics/commodities made in China today. The term “shanzhai” can also refer to things that are improvised or home-made and are generally crude in both form and function (the closest English equivalent would be “ghetto”).

From Mop:

Collection of the most powerful “shanzhai” products in history!

Nowadays, pirating is rampant, so I hope everyone will be careful when purchasing! Especially on the trains and at train stations, they wear the “skin” of “brand name” daily consumption products, but they are not the real brands you want. They are what you commonly find in supermarkets and stores yet you will discover they are fake brands designed to easily ‘trick’ you. [Hope this will] give you a pair of intelligent eyes and help you recognize their features/signs [of being fake].

Fake Nike sock: IVIKE.


Fake 康帅博 instant noodles: 康师傅.

康帅博VS康师傅: The word “师” (master) in Master Kang Ramen is replaced by the word “帅” (handsome).

Fake Tide detergent: 汰洁 Tids.

汰渍 Tide.VS. 汰洁 Tids.

Fake 雕 brand laundry detergent: 周住牌洗衣粉

周住牌 VS 雕牌: the characters “周” and “住” is broken up form the character “雕” (eagle) to give the same appearance.

Fake Adidas: Adadas.


Fake Adidas: Adidos.


Fake Puma brand: Punk.


Fake Wuliangye baijiu: Sanliangye.

五粮液 Wuliangye VS 三粮液: The character “五” (five) is replaced by “三” (three) for this fake version of the expensive Chinese liquor.

Fake Olay shampoo: Okay.


Fake Sony radio and batteries: SQNY


Fake Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Giant Funnel (wait what?).

Fake White Cat brand cleaning product: "Japanese/Fuck cat."

白猫 White Cat brand VS 日猫 brand: Worse, “日” in northern dialect means “to fuck”.

Fake sports water/drink.

脉劫 VS 脉动: The character “动” is replaced by the similar looking “劫”.

Fake SK-II cosmetics.


Fake Rejoice shampoo.

飘柔 Rejoice VS 漂柔 elegance.



Fake Sprite brand.

雪碧 Sprite VS 雪霸: The character “碧” (green jade) is replaced by “霸” (tyrant).

Fake Maotai baijiu: "Maohe"

茅台 Maotai VS. 茅台: The character “台” (tai2) in liquor is replaced by the similar looking “合” (he2).

Comments from Mop:

After looking at these pictures, I realized there is hope for our nation.
One word: Strong

There is no such thing as most ‘shanzhai’ ~ only more ‘shanzhai’~
The Chinese people is great
Chinese people’s creativity is limitless
Long live the Chinese people~
Resolutely attack legitimate products, support pirate products~

Who says the Chinese lack creativity?

Very powerful! I’m laughing to death!

I now know, when I buy things in the future, I must read the characters/words carefully!

Hehe, very strong, very “shanzhai” [this is like “very yellow, very violent“]

Haha nibble his cock.

Very powerful…~I don’t even know what are the real brands for some of them…

“Japanese/fuck” cat, “kao

Chinese people are the most impressive makers of fake brands!

Shocks” people to death.

Too “niu,” very creative, “ding!”

See more fake things in China:

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Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

  • Peteryang

    this is old, see them 2 years ago.

  • MJ

    yes, they are old, but every time I saw it, I laughed. Chinese people are so “creative”….
    BTW:I am Chinese

  • fcuk da lu ren

    Chinese people are so “creative”? I wonder what would happen if we started selling Draier electronics or Meng PU milk (without melanine) the chi mates would be up in arms about their brand. You know Kappa couldn’t do a China Shirt (they do all other countries) because the chimps were so bent out of shape about it?

    FCUK mainlanders seriously. All those products are inferior anyway and any Chinese who buys them only embodies that spirit.

    • iwannajob

      you’re a [email protected] sucker.

      • Xav

        Actually no…He’s right!

    • Capitalism Rocks Communism Sucks

      More proof that Communism is nothing but a RACE TO THE BOTTOM! Way to go China, cheaper knock offs of cheap knock offs on the way! Keep “Made in China” the JOKE that it is. Made in USA, Japan, EU, Australia, NZ>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> than Made in China!

      [Note from Fauna: Comments under different names (GO CAPITALISM, lol/LOL, Capitalist Pig, COMMUNISM SUCKS, Counterfeit Eggs, Capitalism Rocks Communism Sucks, & BRING HER TO JUSTICE).]

  • Kai

    @ fcuk da lu ren:

    Dude, you need to take a chill pill. The “creative” is being said tongue in cheek. It is a good thing for Chinese people to laugh at themselves. Besides, surely even you know that many non-mainlanders buy counterfeit goods too. You’re not that oblivious, are you? ;)

  • wakeupchina

    Come on, before the Xiangyang Market (Shanghai Market) was closed, where do you think is the last stop for those foreigners who came to China especially the first time or once a year, they were so passionate for every fake brand over there.

  • Xuchen

    I always like to think of the people sitting down at a table discussing their business plans with one another..

    “Wait, you want to call it WHAT?”..

    I mean, really.. 日猫 IS pretty funny…


  • Fuller

    They missed my favourite!!
    At Silk Street and around other places in Beijing you can buy a “Wu” (with an umlaut over the u so that it could be two ii’s instead).

  • dave

    Yes, something to be proud of.

  • chengdude

    Raymond Zhou did a piece about 山寨 in China Daily a few days ago. The article rambled all over the place, but I’m guessing by his definition only KFG, Master Handsome, Punk, Okay and -if they knew what they were doing- Fuck A Cat would qualify as 山寨.

    Anyone with a finger on the pulse of language and/or pop culture is welcome to correct or clarify.

  • Veer Left

    I hope that this ‘creativity’ is tongue in cheek…but it is debatable whether or not it actually is. The general level of copying is only serving to take miney from other Chinese who can’t read english or who don’t take time to differentiate the characters from each other.

  • Mike

    The punk vs. puma might be parody rather than piracy. They did add that cool crazy hairdo to the puma.

  • Shanghai Brit

    I am a hypocrite, I have bought my fair share of cheap tack from the fake markets and strutted around with fake brand names on my chest. I won’t defend myself, fake stuff is cheap and sometimes decent quality (although very rarely in my experience). Not only have I bought fake clothes, I have also bought plenty of DVDs and downloaded many PSP and NDS games.

    But I don’t really approve of it (hence why I am a hypocrite). Whenever I see copied brand names that have been manipulated like the ones in this story, I just shake my head in disgust. It shows somethings about the Chinese that are not good. They are not creative, they have no respect for law and they are out to make a cheap buck.

    Copying brand names so blatantly, and not just their names but the logos, decor etc, is so disrespectful and shallow. It shows through and through that the people behind the final product are the lowest of the low, people with no respect for law, no creativity and desperate to make money.

    Given my opinions, I really should stop funding these people, but heck I’d rather be a hypocrite then spend a fortune on real tack!

    • Fike2308

      True…but it’s still funny.

  • Ha, the Punk shirt is uber cool I want one. My wife has experienced similar things ever since middle school (the early 1990’s).

  • 曹操


    I remember reading on last year that Chinese are some of the smartest people on earth, but we spend too much of our time, energy and creativity in exploring loopholes in our legal, economic and social system just so we can enjoy “personal” gain.

    One example the article mentioned was vendors pumping water into water melons prior to selling them in the market. This allows the seller to sell the water melons at a higher price. LOL

  • Miako Tamatsue

    Many Chinese either don’t know, don’t understand, and/or just don’t care the importance of intellectual property protection. Intellectual property protection (patents, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets) will encourage people to be innovative. The Chinese is just creating laws with regards to patents. But like everything else in China, it gets caught up in politics and corruption. Who wants to shut down a factory that makes counterfeit products if 1,000 people are going to be out of work? In U.S. , Europe, and Japan, they won’t hesitate to shut down counterfeit manufacturers because they know that more jobs are created by innovation than by counterfeiting. And it’s the good kind of jobs too.

    • JoelFromLondon

      I wonder where those jobs go this day …

      No body understand (patents, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets) in this world. Be honest. Who really understand those law.

      But education from young age do help.

  • Miako Tamatsue

    And who ever said that copying is being creative doesn’t understand being innovative. Copying like examples above is just copying. There’s no innovation to copying at all.

  • bossman

    I laugh that there are customers in Mainland who would buy these brands or eat at th KFG!!
    My favorite was some KIKE shoes I saw one day.

    There is no end to the tactics people will use to cheat in the Mianland. The are world champions! Next new Olympic medal catagory !!

  • Leo

    If my memory serves right, KFG is actually from Taiwan.

  • Haha

    Harry Potter and the Giant Funnel. I laughed so much on this one.

  • Fuller

    I support piracy almost full on. Why should I have to pay an outrageous price for (for example) a pair of jeans just because of a brand name? Why do I have to act as a walking advertisement for some company just so that they can make another billion dollars and exploit workers in third world countries? If Joe Chen can make a pair of jeans just as good as Levi’s and he wants to call his Lovo’s, of course I’ll buy them for 20RMB, why wouldn’t I?

  • booger bug

    What i don’t get is, where do they draw the line with THIEVING? its not just the companies that lose out, its the man at the bottom that might invest some savings in a company, any company, KFC or not. What makes stealing someone’s idea (hence money) any different to robbing their house?

  • bob

    why is 三粮液 fake? It’s a real brand.

  • will


    the thing is many/most of these knockoffs are not anywhere near the same in quality.

  • MJ

    The real brand is 五粮液

  • bob


    I know there is a 五粮液, but 三粮液 is a legitimate brand. I drank this stuff back in the early 90s.

  • At least changing the brand name makes it easier to spot the knock-offs.

    I’ll take a market full of “Reecok” shoes over a bar full of fake liquor with real labels any day of the week.

  • ^ You sure they didn’t simply misspell the brand name? I’ve seen Adadas, Adadis, Lodidas, Adldis and I’m sure a few more.

  • EB Shanghai

    I’m with Swiss James on this one. Whatever hit my dignity has taken while sporting an “Adildas” t-shirt, it pales in comparison to the chromosomal damage I’ve inflicted on myself with rotgut Stoli in Shenzhen and dodgy AnTe in Harbin. Dammit!

  • fireworks

    I love the Puma knock off “Punk”. What a cool logo. Seriously, I’ve bought some fakes from big malls as well. The quality is not as good, heck, it could be even dangerous such as food products like Sprite.

    I think stamping out the “imitation” industry is next to impossible. No one can create or innovate new brands let alone multi-national corporations invest if they know that Intellectual Property law is not taken seriously and the enforcement is scratchy.

    I’ve seen a MacDonald wannabe restaurant called AnDeBao in China. Its a legitimate restaurant but I don’t know if the menu has any originality.

  • jamar

    I’d love for someone to mail “Harry Potter and the Giant Funnel” to JK Rowling just to see what kind of reaction she’d have. Then again, we’d probably see a full-scale investigation launched by the UK (remember what happened last time someone made their own Harry Potter work?).

  • Jay

    This kind of stealing other peoples intellectual property and hard work in developing a brand my be funny but it seriously harms China’s image around the world. China will have the reputation as the home of fakes and counterfiets for decades to come. That’s not so funny.

    • Xav

      Uhm…….a bit late, isn’t it?

  • walala

    i’m no IP expert, but from what i’ve learned of the legal system here, if a brand name is slightly misspelled, the real brand owner has no recourse since the Chinese courts view it as a full and true different brand name. so while it may be considered piracy in other countries, it is not technically illegal here. also, i believe that China has a first come, first serve status on patents/copyrights. so if i registered legally in China before the real google did, they couldn’t do anything about it.

  • Mike

    Even the government barely respects copyright/intellectual property. CCTV and other government run media constantly illegaly uses music and images. Just the other day, on CCTV 7, the Military channel, they had a piece by Joe Hisaishi, from Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, playing in the background of a military affairs show. Does everyone here see how unlikely it would be for Joe Hisaishi to allow that? Maybe the military channel had no idea who the composer of that music even was, considering how unpatriotic it would be for the Chinese military to use JAPANESE music for one of their propoganda shows. It’s hilarious.

  • purplefox

    who says the Chinese are not innovative? ;D

  • Wurly

    Maybe some Chinese seriously do think this shows creativity, but the overwhelming view of non-Chinese is that this is a complete lack of creativity. That was my first feeling when seeing all the many fake-Chinese “Nike” rip-off brands here.

    Of course, deliberately ironic T-shirts such as the “Punk” one shown have been around in Western countries for at least the last 20 years, and I seriously doubt these have been designed by non-English speaking people. These shirts appeal to Westerners for their creative designs… I don’t get any feeling at all of creativity with the badly slapped together copy brands of China, it just shows as others have already said, a complete lack of original thought, and desire to make money from someone else’s ideas… It comes across as ignorant because its using foreign designs and foreign letters without understanding. This is why it’s funny – just like Chinglish signs – the total lack of understanding of English…

  • benson see

    nowadays, all the chinese people can think about is money. There is no time for love, sex and fun. we have fake milk powder, fake eggs, fake toothpaste and the list is endless.

  • Christopher

    We’ve taken to referring even real brand-name felt-tip markers as “Skerples” ever since we bought a couple packages of shanzai markers at the dollar store and realized that while they looked very similar, we had bought Skerples instead of Sharpies.

    Besides, “skerple” is just more fun to say.

  • Joe

    > 山寨 = shan1 zhai4 = literally “mountain stronghold” in reference to historical warlord holdouts that were outside of government control.

    Is there any relation between that word and the name of the city Shanghai? Just curious.

    These are very creative, BTW. They make good study material for people like me who have trouble telling difficult characters apart, too.

  • moom

    Joe: No, Shanghai means “Up – sea”.

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  • Simon

    is it because china’s common people have no shame, no pride, no spirit, no soul, no culture, no nothing but money? or china has no law?

  • Wang

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind trying out some of that KFG chicken just to see what it tastes like. It’s all kind of a game, isn’t it? I mean, does anyone actually get confused about what is the real product?

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  • Stephan Larose

    Paying crazy high prices for brand names is not for me, I think if you buy real Nike and support a company that uses child/slave labor all around the world, you are a sucker and an idiot. Though copying another brand isn’t exactly “creative” there are a couple examples here of legitimately cool designs, the “punk” shirt for example. However, for the most part, brands whose entire identity revolves around trying to impersonate a better brand are bound to be found out and eventually rejected, so all told, its a bad business strategy, very short term. Anyways, its all part of the rise, designers are getting increasingly skilled in China, and already you can see young Chinese brands with increasingly good designs at reasonable prices, very encouraging for the consumer! If you are in U.S., Euro, or a developed country, you should avoid buying Chinese stuff, you’re just supporting the degradation of environmental and labor standards and contributing to the capitalist race to the bottom model of economics which has possibly irreversibly damaged this planet. Buy local, support high labor and environmental standards and your own workers. China is doing the same, that’s what “increasing domestic consumption” will mean. Basically, its just rationality, support your own market and raise the standard of living within your own borders. Pretty straightforward, now if we could only get the ultra rich idiots running the show to be a little rational…

    • Capitalism Rocks Communism Sucks

      You meant “communist race to the bottom” not capitalist right? Communism is the race to the bottom. Capitalism is the race to do it GENUINELY better than the next guy, so your product sells.

      [Note from Fauna: Comments under different names (GO CAPITALISM, lol/LOL, Capitalist Pig, COMMUNISM SUCKS, Counterfeit Eggs, Capitalism Rocks Communism Sucks, & BRING HER TO JUSTICE).]

      • JoelFromLondon

        Is there anything to do with captialism and communism …

        And China is running dual system dude.

  • Green

    Fake noodles? What is this country coming to!?!?!?!?

  • Samael

    @Stephan Larose

    i love rationality, so lets talk. :D

    heres a simple example

    suppose there are only 2 countries in the world x and y. They produce only two products bread and paper. and suppose that consumers in this world only buy these 2 products

    lets say country x can produce a loaf of bread by using 2kgs of wheat (its a big loaf ok), while country y can produce a loaf using only 1kg of wheat because it has better wheat technology.

    however, country x can produce a stack of paper using 1 tree while country y produce a stack using 2 trees because x has better paper technology

    (this is true in the real world since every country are better at one thing over another)

    Now, if each country buy only domestic products then for every unit of bread and paper someone purchase, it costs 3 unit of resources (either 2kg of wheat and 1 tree or 2 trees and 1kg wheat).

    HOWEVER, if the people are RATIONAL and instead purchase only products where the country has a RELATIVE ADVANTAGE (ie using less resources) then for every unit purchased, it will only cos 2 unit of resources.

    Pretty straightforward, now if we could only get the ultra rich idiots running the show to be a little rational…

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  • Stephan Larose

    Dear Samael,

    your childishly simplistic understanding of economics is very amusing, a hypothetical example in a world with only two countries and two products has very little application to the real world.

    You can produce sneakers anywhere in the world affordably, the wild distortions in prices are not from any actual “advantages” in production technology, or from some magical advantage we pull out from the “every country has an advantage” hat, they are from a skewed economic system that doesn’t count human rights, a healthy environment, job security, social systems and functioning democracies as assets, it doesn’t count them at all.

    In the system you refer to, the “advantages” (framed as advantages in cost of production) cost us all the amenities an advanced civilization requires to function, take as evidence global warming and the world financial collapse in process.

    In a global system with universal human rights, democracy, respect for nature (at the very least in understanding its role in our survival) and a financial system that does not treat human beings as disposable inputs, and the entire world economy as a ponzi scheme run for the pleasure and profit of the richest of the rich, the “advantages” you refer to, in many cases, would actually be accounted for as disadvantages.

    The Bretton Woods “floating currency” system responsible for most of these “advantages” is largely responsible for massive distortions in the value of human labor, meaning we can pay Thais pennies for their jewelry, but this system is a historical aberration, not the norm, and morally repugnant, if you have morals.

    Yes, a Canadian can’t buy strawberries in the depths of winter, so they can trade, but rather than sell raw logs, send them for China for processing, and importing toothpicks, wasting untold amounts of energy in the entirely unnecessary transit undertaken in the process, not to mention depriving Canadians of jobs, Canadians can make their toothpicks at home. Taken from a resource and energy perspective, it makes far, far, far more economic sense. It might be prudent to note that every Western economy on the planet today grew their economies from behind huge protectionist barriers before going neo-colonial and demanding developing countries do the opposite while imposing debt at the point of a gun

    There’s another aspect to economics and development unmentioned that is tied to a myriad of other factors that range from the C.I.A.’s role in overthrowing democracies in dozens of countries to install regimes friendly to US corporations (and the suppression of said countries’ developments) to neo-colonial (also development suppressing) policies in the WTO and IMF. But the point is, the extremely simplistic accounting you’re trying to “instruct” me with, is totally insufficient for directing economic policies.

    If we take your method and apply as a rule and look just a couple decades ahead, hyper efficient robots will produce everything, from the books we read (computers already write compelling stories) to all manufacturing, engineering, design, everything, leaving human beings with no income, being completely redundant to the economy. If they have a country x, and we have a country, y, we are fucked and will starve to death.

    Thanks for the lesson pal.

    • honestly u don’t have any grasp of economics whatsoever

      in economic models it is always necessary to make assumptions and vast simplifications that are not necessarily true IRL. Samael’s explanation is a very basic and accurate depiction of the powerful advantages of globalization and trade.

      Topics such as human rights and the environment are irrelevant when discussing the overall big picture of international trade

      • Topics such as human rights and the environment are irrelevant when discussing the overall big picture of international trade

        Only a person born into privilege utterly unearned by any talent / skill / achievement of their own — and whose intelligence and integrity are both sub-zero — could even entertain such a statement.
        Be glad you were so blessed, ziziyo; clearly, if you did have to survive on your merits alone, you’d already have expired.
        Would anyone miss you?