Colourmix caught selling counterfeit cosmetics
Colourmix has been fined HK$160,000 for stocking counterfeit make-up remover bearing the French-based skincare brand name Bioderma.
The immensely embarrassing court case for the company, caught in a fierce battle for marketshare in the crowded retail cosmetics market in Hong Kong, followed the discovery of 481 bottles of fake product at eight of its stores in Hong Kong by customs officers in July 2015. Stores in Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Sheung Wan, Kwai Chung, Tsing Yi and Tuen Mun were among those raided. Just one of 482 bottles seized was found to be genuine.
Most damning was the evidence that the fake bottles bore misprints, spelling mistakes, the wrong letter sizes and expiry dates that did not match genuine bottles from the same batch number – easily spotted signs something was amiss with the products.
In a ruling, magistrate Amy Chan Wai-mun said on Monday: “Colourmix’s quality assurance system is seriously lacking, failing to achieve even the basic gate-keeping [responsibility].”
She said while the fake products did not pose any health risk, it demonstrated a “lax quality assurance system” by the company, which has 96 stores in China.
The magistrate found Colourmix guilty of seven charges of possessing goods for sale with forged trademarks.
But product purchase supervisor Lam Yuk-fong was cleared of similar charges as the court found she had no direct control over the counterfeits.