Goldman Sachs (Shenzhen) Financial Leasing comes to light after pirate branch of China Construction Bank offered customers deposits but no withdrawals. Goldman Sachs (Shenzhen) Financial Leasing Co has no connection with the New York-based financial institution. Its existence has come to light a few weeks after a Chinese man was arrested for setting up an entire fake bank branch. The company uses the same Chinese characters as the real Goldman Sachs does where it operates in the world’s second-largest economy.
Shenzhen’s Goldman Sachs was exposed by a letter sent by a US casino workers union to Chinese anti-corruption officials asking them to investigate the firm, Bloomberg News reported. The Chinese firm’s English font was evocative of the US bank’s, Bloomberg reported, labelling the company a “pirate” version of Goldman Sachs. The news came after a 39-year-old man in eastern China was arrested for setting up a fake branch of China Construction Bank including card readers, teller counters and signs, according to state-run media. Duped “customers” handed over money to make supposed deposits into their accounts but were refused withdrawals, reports said.
Enforcement of intellectual property laws in China is lax and counterfeiting of brands and products is rife. Several foreign firms have been embroiled in court cases over imitators. Basketball star Michael Jordan in July lost a case against a Chinese sportswear company that used the Chinese version of his name. Apple paid $60m to settle a trademark dispute with a Chinese company that had applied to block the sale of iPad computer tablets in 2012.