Maybe you've already known these 3 most common words for "counterfeit": 山寨 (shān zhài), 盗版 (dào bǎn) and 假冒 (jiǎ mào). But they are a bit different in meanings.
山寨 (shān zhài): They are usually made by small companies, so the quality is usually not as good as the genuine products.
盗版 (dào bǎn): A complete imitation that tries to be identical to the genuine products. The producers mix the counterfeits up with the genuine products to seek profits, though it's illegal. This is common for the products with intellectual property, like books (盗版书, dào bǎn shū), albums (盗版唱片, dào bǎn chàng piān) and software (dào bǎn ruǎn jiàn).
假冒 (jiǎ mào): this is something that is completely fake— from the exterior to the interior.
Still not clear about their differences? Here are 2 more things to consider:
山寨 usually has its own brand, while 盗版 and 假冒 use others' registered brands.
The quality of 假冒 products is usually worse than that of 盗版 products.
Here are how these words are used in Chinese:
山寨 (shān zhài):
tiān jīn xiàn shān zhài iPhone4.
Counterfeit iPhone4 appears in Tianjin.
shì mín shōu dào wǎng yì zhòng jiǎng yóu jiàn, hé shí cái zhī zāo yù shān zhài wǎng zhàn.
Citizens received a Netease email notifying them about winning a prize, but after checking, they realized it was from a copycat website.
假冒 (jiǎ mào):
gāi zuō fang zhǔ yào shì zhì shòu jiǎ mào de shí yán.
That shop mainly makes and sells counterfeit table salt.
盗版 (dào bǎn):
zhè gè wǎng zhàn de dà duō shù yīn yuè dōu shì dào bǎn yīn yuè.
Most of the music on this site is pirated.
wēi ruǎn cǐ qián céng cóng quán guó gè dì sōu luó le bù tóng bǎn běn de dào bǎn Win7 guāng pán.
Previously, Microsoft found different versions of pirated Windows 7 CDs all over the country.
Translated from: fluentu
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