The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (The Golf Group) today announced the completion of a successful raid of a counterfeiting factory in Tangxia, a major industrial center in Dongguan City, China. The raid, carried out by the Dongguan Municipal Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) took place in April. Authorities seized 1,169 counterfeit golf products, including clubs, club heads and golf bags. The raid is the latest successful shutdown of efforts to produce, distribute and sell counterfeit golf products worldwide.
The Group also announced the sentencing from a 2015 case. Wang Xuhan was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 500,000 RMB (more than $76,000) after he was arrested in 2015. Authorities found 8,877 counterfeited items in his Tanxia manufacturing operation during the raid. The prison term is one of the largest individual sentences in the group's history.
"Counterfeiters are trying to capitalize on the popularity of all of our brands both in the U.S. and abroad, and we're happy that the authorities are continuing to send the message that fakes won't be tolerated," said Stephen Gingrich, VP of Global Legal Enforcement for Srixon/Cleveland/XXIO. "Counterfeiting efforts, particularly through online sales, continue to threaten the integrity of the game. The enforcement efforts driven by the group are more important than ever."
Since 2004, The Golf Group's close collaboration with international authorities has led to the seizure of nearly two million pieces of counterfeited gear imitating some of the sport's most trusted brands. In the last five years, nearly 1,500 websites selling counterfeit clubs and accessories have also been shut down as the direct result of legal action brought by the group.
"We've successfully identified and worked with government officials to shut down some large counterfeiting operations this year, but our work is not done," said Joe Nauman, Executive Vice President for Corporate and Legal for Acushnet Company. "We need to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters who constantly devise new ways to manufacture and sell their fake goods to unsuspecting consumers. We're committed to innovating new strategies to prevent these forgeries worldwide."
To help the general population more clearly understand the counterfeiting issue, The Golf Group held a panel discussion this year that discussed the future of anti-counterfeit efforts in the industry. The discussion featured representatives from all four group members, detailing how the most well-known golf companies in the world fight fakes and protect consumers. A transcript of this panel discussion, along with more information about the dangers of counterfeit golf products, and how to avoid them can be found at www.keepgolfreal.com.
About the Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group
The Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group consists of four of the most well-known golf companies in the world -- Acushnet Company, whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron; Callaway-Odyssey; Srixon, Cleveland Golf and XXIO; and PING. Formed in 2004, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group has supported the efforts of international law enforcement and government agencies to conduct raids and investigations of counterfeit operations, as well as raise public awareness of the issue. Since its inception, the Golf Group's efforts led to the shutdown of more than 1,500 websites and authorities have seized nearly two million counterfeit golf products -- highlighted by a clustering campaign initiative resulting in the arrest of more than 40 suspects from raids of 21 different locations.