Louis Vuitton in the bazaar: Negotiating the value of counterfeit goods in Shanghai's Xiangyang market

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Much work on counterfeiting takes the perspective of brand holders and focuses on strategies for restricting the infringement of their intellectual property rights (IPR). This article takes a different approach. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in a market bazaar in Shanghai, the article examines the way in which market participants negotiate the value of counterfeit goods. Brand holders attempt to control the valuation of branded goods, which are usually traded in fixed-price markets. Counterfeit goods, on the other hand, are subject to intensive bargaining in Chinese bazaar-type markets. Identifying different types of value that market participants refer to in their attempts to manipulate prices, the article argues that counterfeit goods and their markets create a more active role for both vendors and consumers in negotiating, denaturalising and temporarily re-fixing the value of goods.


  • Henrik Kloppenborg Møller
  • Gard Hopsdahl Hansen
External organisations
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Value, Counterfeiting, Intellectual Property Rights, IPRs, china, Bazaar , Louis Vuitton, Counterfeit goods, Shanghai, counterfeiting, ethnography, markets
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)170-190
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Henrik Kloppenborg Møller is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at Lund University with a BSc. and a MSc in Anthropology from the University of Copenhagen. Møller has carried out extensive fieldwork among Chinese traders of counterfeit branded goods in Shanghai, and among traders of the gemstone jade in south-west China, as well as in northern Myanmar and Thailand. Møller's research interests include markets, traders, craftsmanship, materiality, value, authenticity, knowledge, and personhood.