Chinese authorities have cracked down on a major online sales platform, Pandabuy, known for allegedly supplying counterfeit goods, raiding several of its warehouses holding millions of packages destined for international buyers.

Earlier this month, police raided Pandabuy’s Hangzhou office and its associated warehouses after 16 brands filed legal action, alleging copyright infringement.

The raid involved over 200 public security officers, 50 private investigators, and local police. Reports indicate that more than 30 people were detained, and millions of parcels were seized, including counterfeit brand-name sports shoes.

The investigation into Pandabuy was first reported by World Trademark Review and commenced in November with the cooperation of London’s police intellectual property crime unit, Operation Ashiko, and various intellectual property protection firms, including Corsearch and Rouse.

Chinese firm Cantoop, which alerted police in November, provided 70 investigators to assist with the operation.

Cantoop’s investigation uncovered that Pandabuy’s operations spanned five Chinese cities, involved over 2,200 employees, and encompassed 100,000 square meters of warehouse space, equivalent to nearly 20 football stadiums.

While a Shanghai police economic crime desk confirmed the raid, further details, including the exact number of arrests, were not disclosed.

Pandabuy acts as a shopping agent platform, facilitating sales and shipping processes between sellers and buyers, though it has gained notoriety for offering counterfeit designer goods at cheap prices.

Its website claims to serve 200,000 customers, though a data leak in March reportedly exposed information on over 1.3 million customers.

Pandabuy apologized for the leak, blaming criminal hackers and assuring customers that their financial information had not been accessed.

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In response to the recent raid, Pandabuy’s autogenerated email reassured customers of their cooperation with legal authorities, emphasizing their efforts to ensure compliance and data security. The email also mentioned potential disruptions to ongoing orders.

Pandabuy’s website has not been updated since April 1. The Guardian reports that authorities anticipate spending months inspecting the contents of the raided warehouses, with all infringing products confiscated and stored in law enforcement-designated warehouses.

Further action is expected against the UK assets of Pandabuy, which lists a London mail drop address as its headquarters.

Since the raid, the term ‘PandaBuy’ has been banned on TikTok.

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