It's no secret that China is awash with counterfeit goods, but within the world's most industrious nation, one city reigns supreme above the rest as the fake sneaker capital: Putian. Keen to understand this lucrative trade, VICE News Tonight on HBO ventured to the eastern Fujian city to meet with a counterfeit footwear vendor, indentified only as 'Chan', and take a behind the scenes look at his 'replica sneaker' operation: Chan Sneakers.
The Vice team discovered that local authorities seemingly turn a blind eye to the blackmarket trade — although that doesn't stop Chan from wearing a face mask to conceal his identity in the interview. Interestingly, Chan began the operation — which he runs out of an apartment unit — in 2016 while studying med school in the UK and quickly started shifting 120 pairs a day, equating for a staggering $100,000 a month in sales.
The expose is a must-watch look behind the scenes of one of the shadiest sides of the sneaker scene. Check out the full video below.