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July 21, 2011

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Furniture fiasco hits credibility

THE DaVinci scandal has affected other international furniture brands in the Chinese market, as consumers start to question whether all the high-end brands lie about the places where their products are made.

In fact, some local furniture dealers have withdrawn claims that their products are fully imported, admitting to Shanghai Daily that the furniture was in fact made in China or other developing countries.

In an outlet of Yuexing Homes in Jing'an District, Shanghai Daily found that sales personnel no longer said their products were fully imported. Sales persons for several brands, such as Duke York, Mahogany, and Lucca Magic, all said that their products were produced either on the Chinese mainland or in Indonesia.

Executives from France-based Roche Bobois said in Shanghai yesterday that they have suffered considerable loss recently, as most new clients canceled their orders after the DaVinci scandal. The company wouldn't disclose the size of the losses.

"Some people questioned us on the Internet whether we have told lies like DaVinci, and we also received people's phone calls asking whether our products were truly produced in Europe," said Zhou Yufeng, the company's president in China. "In fact, our products are really made in Europe, most in France, and others in Italy and Portugal."

The company expressed hope that the central government can protect honest international brands.

Earlier, Shanghai-based DaVinci Furniture Co Ltd was shown to be cheating consumers by lying about where some of their products were made, prompting nationwide concern. The company apologized to consumers Monday but didn't promise to give refunds or compensation.

Several local governmental departments are now investigating the case. They initially confirmed that parts of the company's so-called imported products were made in China, but haven't punished the company.


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