China has launched a major crackdown on online counterfeit goods that has seen thousands of people detained and thousands of computers confiscated.
The People’s Daily said on Sunday that a 38-year-old man had been arrested in the northern city of Nanjing on suspicion that he had stolen the memorabilia of world champions like Muhammad Ali and Kobe Bryant.
The arrest came on the heels of the seizure of counterfeit sports memorandas at a mall in a Beijing suburb.
In January, authorities arrested an unidentified man in Beijing on suspicion he had illegally sold sports memorandise.
China has a history of stamping down on online counterfeiting and counterfeiting of goods from overseas, but the seizure in Nanjing came as the country struggles with an acute shortage of cheap foreign currency.
“In recent years, counterfeiting has become more prevalent and more expensive in China, and this is because China is trying to improve its quality control,” a Chinese official told the state news agency Xinhua.
“There are a number of reasons for this: the country’s efforts to promote quality, and the growth of the online game industry, among other things,” he said.