Kuaishou anchor Ping Rong (Lvsao) was reported to have been trading yet more fake brands after last month’s controversy for selling copycat Doov smartphones.
On Wednesday, both Coolpad Group and ZTE Corporation put out announcements warning that Ping was never licensed to sell any of their products. ZXeLink, a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, specifically pointed out that even though the “Shouhubao” product brand does exist under the company, the “Shouhubao F6 Pro” model put up for sale in Ping’s livestream is a counterfeit product never produced by ZXeLink or any of their licensed companies. There has been no response to the announcements from Ping so far.
Last month, co-founder of ZEALER and blogger TechnologyXiaoXin pointed out in a video that the “Doov 12 Pro” smartphone he bought from Ping’s livestream was, in fact, a counterfeit product. The product information that came up from verifying the provided network access license number on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology website did not match the model he received.
The blogger also showed that while the model was publicized to have a８GB/128GB setup, the product had only 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Furthermore, he found under closer examination that out of the phone’s three camera lenses, only one actually functioned.
Such models could not be found on either the official Doov website or any e-commerce platform such as Taobao or Tmall. After some digging, Xiaoxin found that the product appearance matched the Coolpad “Cool10 Youth Edition” smartphone. He speculated that these phones came from the same manufacturer and were the same original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products simply put on sale under different brand labels.
The price gaps are notable, however. The Coolpad “Cool10 Youth Edition” model is priced at only 599 Yuan ($94) while the counterfeit Doov product sold for 899 Yuan ($141) each. The model the Ping claimed the product to be (“Doov 12 Pro”) had a market price of 4,999 Yuan ($782). Having sold over 10,000 copies, the profit would have amounted to 3 million Yuan ($469,000) from a single broadcast.
Over a period of 30 days, Ping and her husband Erlv have sold approximately 487,000 phones with a revenue of 470 million Yuan ($73.5 million), according to Chinese media. The couple has over 70 million followers on Kuaishou.
Following the controversy, Kuaishou promised involved consumers a compensation of nine times the purchasing price in the mode of returnless refund. Of the compensation, one-third would come from the platform, and the other two from the anchor and the Doov brand respectively. The couple also apologized on their channel for untruthful advertising.
On June 1, Kuaishou further announced that it would implement stronger measures against counterfeit products by banning sales and promotions of “copycat smartphone” brands on the platform altogether. Listed brands include Doov, SUGAR, koobee, and ZTE.
A ZTE official said on Weibo that the company had been falsely accused amid the surge in copycat products on the livestreaming platform.