Arrests made in LEPIN raid over the continued manufacture of counterfeit LEGO products [News]

Following the court case against LEPIN in November 2018, the Chinese counterfeiters are back in the news again and, this time, the police are involved. On Tuesday, April 23rd police raided the Shenzhen plant belonging to the notorious manufacturer of imitation LEGO products. Shanghai police orchestrated the raid, which led to four arrests including the leader of LEPIN’s parent company, Meizhi. According to a post on the Shanghai police’s Weibo account, over 200 million RMB (nearly 30 million USD) of LEPIN products were confiscated. This included more than 630,000 finished sets, 200,000 boxes, 200,000 instruction leaflets and manuals, and over 90 production molds.

LEPIN has earned notoriety among LEGO fans for manufacturing counterfeit LEGO sets and fan-designed models without permission. A subsidiary named Xingbao was formed to produce fan designs under license, while copies of LEGO sets continued under the LEPIN name. The April raid is the latest attempt in forcing LEPIN to cease production of imitation LEGO products. In November 2018, the Chinese district court ordered the company to stop making counterfeit products and pay the LEGO Group 4.5 million RMB in damages (approximately $650,000 USD). Whether or not this signals the indefinite end of LEPIN remains to be seen.

This news is making the waves, with the BBC having even interviewed the Brothers Brick’s Editor-in-Chief Andrew Becraft on the subject. You can listen to the interview here (starts at 38:30).

Raid images sourced from the Shanghai Police Department’s Weibo account.

12 comments on “Arrests made in LEPIN raid over the continued manufacture of counterfeit LEGO products [News]

  1. Tony

    Maybe if Lego actually priced their items reasonably, no-one would need to buy counterfeit blocks.

  2. Tiago Nodari

    the first paragraph it says 200 RMB, which is $30 USD. I am guessing you just missed million

  3. mm556

    They were handy for the out of production stuff. I don’t like buying knock offs but I was never going to play upwards of a grand for the original UCS Falcon and the like. That said the stuff that was still actually being sold I’d never buy from them

  4. Tommy Armstrong

    So do we have to credit Trump’s hard line in trade negotiations with China over intellectual property. Maybe the Chinese think they better make a little effort, a little good faith effort, and what better way to clamp down on an IP abuser of a beloved company. China wins, the fans win, and LEGO wins. Of course no one would give Trump credit. Not even me. But it is interesting to think about.

  5. Mike

    I agree with mm556 – Lepin were really useful when you wanted earlier out of production sets (like the Technic AROCS truck) but I do always try to buy official Lego first or else build it with orders from BrickLink if I have some or most of the parts already. Xingbao and Kazi both have some good really sets not made by Lego so as long as they are not ripping anyone off I’m happy to buy the odd one of those.
    Still, it’s good really, if Lego went under because of these continual rip-offs that would be an utter disaster!

  6. Rick Freeth (@Tricky_D1ck)

    Glad to see it. Patent/IP thieves are shameless and deserve hard time. For all those that bitch about Lego’s prices, just remember that they’re paying their people living wages, driving their own R&D, and offsetting 3rd party licensing (i.e. Disney). Can’t just get somethin’ for nothin’.

  7. NPC

    Rich white liberals can pat themselves on the back because LEGO can afford to pay their workers even less money now that government has used our tax dollars to shut down their only competition.

    LEGO even outsourced all their production to the same Chinese slave labor factory as LEPIN so what’s the difference? Destroy it all. Screw global warming.

  8. Rick Freeth (@Tricky_D1ck)

    NPC, that’s completely incorrect. Most of the bricks are still manufactured in Billund, with a variety of special parts outsourced to place like China due to the cheapness of retooling machinery to special uses. Also, Denmark has extraordinarily worker-friendly laws and culture. Killing Lepin would only hurt workers if the company was based in the US, where that sort of thing happens.

  9. projeto iguatu Siebeneichler Junior

    the mafia of capitalism wins again the third world will run out of blocks again lego is too expensive only for rich

    Of course you guys from the first rich world are not worried about this.

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