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Chinese Live Streamer Sentenced to 1 Year 10 Months Prison Term for Selling Counterfeit Disney Plush Toys

On April 14, 2023, the Jing An Procuratorate in Shanghai, China announced that live streamer Zhu XX with 200,000 fans was sentenced to a prison term of 1 year 10 months and fined 800,000 RMB for the crime of selling goods with counterfeit registered trademarks belonging to Disney. An additional 5 defendants were sentenced to imprisonment of 1 year to 1 year 8 months and fined, subject to probation.

On August 10, 2022, the police arrested Zhu while live streaming on Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok).  The police destroyed 3 counterfeit sales dens and seized more than 800 dolls and products bearing the “DISNEY” word mark, all of which were verified as goods bearing counterfeit registered trademarks.

Zhu XX admitted most of the goods sold by him were fakes without official authorization. As for the English-language power of attorney provided by the purchaser, it was also fake. When customers ask online whether they are genuine, he teaches staff to avoid questions with phrases such as “Dolls are cute.” When selling Stella and Lina Bell plush toys, the boss also avoided using their names and instead calls them bunnies, foxes and things like that one of Zhu’s staff members recalled.

On September 9, 2022, the public security agency transferred the case to the Jing An District Procuratorate for review and arrest on the grounds that Zhu and others were suspected of selling commodities with counterfeit registered trademarks. After reviewing some of the evidence, the prosecutor found that of the 30 Disney products seized by the public security agency, 27 products are printed with the “DISNEY” word mark, which have been identified as counterfeit registered trademarks. There are also 3 products without the “DISNEY” word mark but the prosecutors determined that the paws of the plush dolls bore counterfeit marks, such as Mickey’s head.

After auditing, from April 2021 to August 2022, the total amount of counterfeit sales in Zhu’s live broadcast room was more than 3 million RMB, and the value of the seized goods was more than 30,000 RMB.

Prosecutors inspecting plush toys bearing counterfeit Disney trademarks

The full text of the announcement is available here (Chinese only).

Principal, and Director of the China Intellectual Property Practice

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