On 21st April this year, PRC police raided condom producing plants all over Shanghai and Henan Province and confiscated 3 million counterfeith condoms. What’s disturbing is that these condoms have been exported all over the world and have evaded customs checks in countries as far as Italy in Europe, where police intercepted a huge shipment of fake condoms being transported by PRC nationals.
The packaging of the condoms are nearly identical to legitimate contraceptives, but those in the know can tell that the copycats do not match the genuine. For example, the instruction booklets included with the condoms indicated they used the 1999 safety standards, while real condoms use standards established later in 2004.
“We don’t know where the rubber comes from. Produced in underground factories, such condoms, with fragile rubber and poor flexibility, may lead to accidental pregnancies and bacterial infections. We found consumers were unaware of how to distinguish these condoms,” a Guangzhou-based doctor told the media.
Insiders say some people collect expired condoms or buy factories’ surplus stock at an extremely low price, recycle them in underground workshops with cheap silicon oil, stamp them with brand names and reintroduce them to the market.
Testing revealed that the prophylactics had been made using noxious chemicals and had not been properly sterilized. According to officials, the logo of British condom-maker Durex was featured on the packaging and on the information leaflet.
This is not simply a domestic problem, as recent reports have revealed that sub-standard condoms have been shipped overseas.
China produces about 10 billion condoms a year, accounting for 25 percent of the world’s total, according to media reports.
Italian customs officers seized 600,000 counterfeit condoms at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, Vice News reported in July. Officials have stated that they believe the condoms were produced in China.
This has raised concerns about the spread of these unsafe condoms. No one knows how many more counterfeits have sneaked into shops in China and other countries without being discovered at customs.