Xiao Zhenjiang, a counterfeiter of Hermès handgbags, was sentenced to life in prison last month by the Heyuan Intermediate People’s Court in China’s southern province of Guangdong, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Last year, public security officials raided Xiao's factory and found 100 million yuan (about US$15.7 million) worth of fake Hermès purses. Three other people were also arrested and were sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison and were handed fines of 500,000 yuan to 800,000 yuan (US$79,000 to US$126,000).
The unusual harsh and severe sentence (in China, counterfeiters are usually sentenced to three to seven years in prison) is said to serve as an example of the increasing importance of intellectual property protection in China. The sentence is also part of a regional crackdown that started in February to fight market manipulation, counterfeit products and bribery.