Shanzai is the Mandarin term for the practice of making pirated and imitation goods.
It literally means “mountain stronghold” from the days when warlords and bandits holed themselves up in the mountains, far away from official control.
In Chinese culture, copying is viewed as a form of respect, for example trainee artists are taught to replicate masterpieces until their work is a flawless lookalike.
But in modern-day China, copycatting is more like an industrial obsession, and it’s often subtly done to fool consumers while avoiding counterfeit issues.
However, there’s nothing careful or artful about these bootlegs—they’re just blatant copies of mainstream Western brands, and anyone who falls for them would have to be half asleep.
Judging by some of these examples, you could be forgiven for thinking the manufacturers have a wry sense of humor!
I think my favorite is Pizza Huh! What’s yours?
Research by Lulu
Nike is obviously a big thing in China
So is Adidas
And Punk… I mean Puma
Eateries with Western names are all the rage:
And last but not least, some tipples to make you giggle…
Guaranteed not to give you wings!!!
And if you liked those, then you’ll love these 15 unintentionally amusing knockoffs that were made in China.