Enping City, China (March 18, 2019)—A raid on a factory in Enping City, Guangdong, resulted in police seizing hundreds of counterfeit audio products, halting an aggressive attempt to rip off pro-audio manufacturers and their customers. The raid, conducted last October, found Soundpu Electronics Equipment (AKA Voxpu Electronics Equipment) producing fake Shure, Sennheiser, Yamaha and Harman gear—and it wasn’t the first time Soundpu had been caught.
The raid was instigated by Shure, working with the Enping Public Security Bureau (PSB) and the Enping Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC). Fake pro-audio gear seized on the premises included a variety of fraudulent wireless microphones and receivers, consoles, amplifiers and processors.
A visit to the Soundpu website still reveals numerous products that could be visually mistaken for pro-audio equipment by better-known manufacturers except that they bear the Voxpu name silkscreened on them.
Sounpu had already been busted in the past when counterfeit Shure wireless microphones were discovered at its factory during a routine market investigation in April, 2018, leading to a hefty fine by the Enping AIC in August. With the repeat offense, now Shure intends to legally go after the company’s owner and management, with Sennheiser, Yamaha and Harman assisting in the upcoming criminal prosecution.
“Counterfeiting is an ongoing problem for the audio industry, and we remain vigilant in our anti-counterfeiting efforts,” said Chris Schyvinck, Shure president and CEO. “Our collective intellectual property has been compromised, and we greatly appreciate the cooperation of Sennheiser, Yamaha, and Harman in this matter.”
Takuya Nakata, president and representative executive officer of Yamaha Corporation, averred, “Yamaha has long taken various measures against counterfeit products such as civil actions, police raids, suspensions from customs and placed enlightening advertisements globally, particularly in China. We have done so because we firmly believe that these activities will not only protect our valued customers and end users from low-quality counterfeits, but also lead to an improvement of reliability and trust in our brands.”
Fake audio gear damages more than a brand’s reputation; Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO of Sennheiser, explained, “These cheap counterfeits also fall short in terms of quality, and in some cases, dangerously so.”
As a result, while all four brands are competitors in the pro-audio marketplace, they have no problem teaming up to help prevent counterfeit gear from spreading. Mohit Parasher, EVP and president, HARMAN Professional Solutions, said, “We will continue to partner and cooperate with industry leading manufacturers such as Shure, Yamaha and Sennheiser, investigators and law enforcement agencies around the world to safeguard our names, designs and trademarks. It is critical that we ensure our customers are protected from counterfeit products.”
And what can audio pros do to ensure they don’t inadvertently buy fake, substandard audio equipment? Shure’s Schyvinck shared, “We encourage customers to buy all of these professional audio products only from authorized dealers.”
Shure • www.shure.com
Yamaha • www.yamahaca.com
Harman Professional • www.harman.com
Sennheiser • www.sennheiser.com