Shopping in the Chinese city of Shenyang is very similar to shopping anywhere in the world – very similar indeed.
Just pop down to Wanda Square in the heart of the city and you’ll see a cornucopia of well-known brands – all with incredible knock-off prices. Start your spree at Herwes Paris before heading on to Cnanel for perfume, Prëdë for clothes and Cairter or Tifeany & Co for that jewellery you always wanted.
You can stop for some ice cream at Häagen Dezs washed down with a skinny latte from Starbocks Coffee.
And when you run out of cash, help is at hand – just take more out at Standard Chertered Bank.
If you still haven’t noticed something suspicious then look again, because the entire street is populated with fake brands.
A representative from the Wanda group, which oversees the square, told Xinhua news agency that the stores were “fakes for marketing purposes” only. That meant they were only using the names to draw people in before selling completely different merchandise, Shanghaiist reported.
Promoted as a “European-style pedestrian street”, it is valued at nearly £5 000 (R80 000) a metre.
It is not the first time China has sought to replicate famous Western towns and landmarks. Last year, plans to turn the southern city of Huizhou into a £5.7 billion carbon copy of picturesque Hallstatt in Austria were leaked to the Western media. – Daily Mail