□ Wen Yuanhao, reporter of this newspaper

"Moutai in the army", "five grains in the army", "special logistics supply" ... Some liquor with the "military" brand as a publicity gimmick has attracted many consumers to flock to it, but they do not know that they have fallen into the trap of illegal merchants.

Not long ago, the military and local governments in Ningxia jointly investigated and dealt with a case of counterfeit military special liquor, sealed 12 varieties, more than 600 pieces of liquor, and more than 3500,3 bottles, and fined the relevant companies <>,<> yuan, confiscated "military wine without a factory site", and ordered them to immediately rectify the situation.

A recent investigation by a reporter from the "Rule of Law Daily" found that in addition to counterfeit "military wine", there are also many liquor sold under the banners of "special supply", "exclusive supply" and "internal entertainment". In fact, as early as 2013, the relevant authorities explicitly prohibited the manufacture and sale of goods labeled "special" and "exclusive".

Experts interviewed by reporters believe that although "special" and "internal" liquor does exist in history, the relevant departments have banned the manufacture and sale of such goods many years ago. The so-called "special liquor" and other goods circulating in the market today are not only suspected of illegal sales and violation of advertising laws, but also mixed with a large number of fake wine, endangering the rights and interests of consumers, and should be strengthened. At the same time, consumers should also change their consumption concepts to avoid falling into the consumption trap.

It has long been expressly prohibited

Still selling in secret

The clues to the case came from a private car with a suspected military-style logo on both sides of the body and the words "Military Wine Sales" on the rear glass. The garrison office of the Ningxia Military Region found the vehicle while carrying out picketing tasks, and the pickets immediately took pictures and found the company to which the vehicle belonged.

After investigation, it was found that the company sold more than 40 categories of "military wine and military products" online. The company is mainly responsible for the delivery of "military wine" after sales, and the supplier behind it is Li. In 2020, at the instigation of his friends, Li smelled the so-called "business opportunities" of "military wine" and "exclusive" products, and began to sell alcohol as a gimmick. In the end, the Military Region Security Office, together with public security, market supervision and other departments, inspected and corrected its sales stores and warehouses.

Public information shows that "special" and "exclusive" goods once existed, among which "special wine" was the most well-known to the public. However, with the proliferation of "special" labeled goods, the problem of merchants seeking improper benefits has arisen, which not only misleads consumers, but also disrupts market order and undermines the fair competition environment.

In March 2013, the State Council Organ Affairs Administration and other five departments jointly issued the Notice on Strictly Prohibiting the Central and State Organs from Using Signs such as "Special Supply" and "Exclusive Supply", which strictly prohibits all departments of the central and state organs and their administrative institutions from using, producing and selling items marked with the labels "special supply" and "exclusive supply" on their own or with authorization. In December of the same year, the former State Food and Drug Administration issued a notice requiring alcohol enterprises not to produce liquor marked with the words "special", "exclusive", "special", "special" and "special".

In September 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation organized a special action to clean up and rectify online sales and publicize "special" and "exclusive" labeled goods. In July 9, the Logistics Support Department of the Central Military Commission and other six departments jointly issued the Notice on Prohibiting the Sale of "Military" Tobacco and Alcohol and Other Commodities.

However, under the heavy bans and crackdowns, liquor under the banner of "special supply" and "exclusive supply" is still swaggering through the market.

"The main reason for the repeated prohibition of 'special' products is that they are profitable, and some consumers are willing to pay high prices for such wine out of collecting, gift-giving, etc. But in reality, these 'special' wines often come from unknown sources. Some unscrupulous merchants have taken risks to this end, brazenly producing and selling counterfeit and shoddy goods such as 'Moutai in the military', 'military exclusively', and 'special liquor'. Li Lin (pseudonym), a Hunan native who has been engaged in tobacco and alcohol sales in Beijing for many years, told reporters.

Recently, the reporter visited several supermarkets and tobacco and alcohol franchise stores in Beijing, but did not see the figure of "special liquor"; Searching for "special wine" and "internal wine" on the e-commerce platform did not find relevant information. However, searching for "internal hospitality wine" and "internal reception wine" as keywords, you can still see that some merchants are selling online with the gimmicks of "internal service", "exclusive" and "internal hospitality". In addition, there are also merchants who sell empty bottles and labels marked with the words "internal special liquor" and "internal exclusive supply".

Among them, the official flagship store of a wine company in Jiangsu is selling a 53-degree sauce-fragrant liquor called "Centennial ×× Internal Hospitality Wine", known as pure grain brewing, original direct delivery, each box (a total of 6 bottles, each bottle of 500 ml) suggested retail price of 899 yuan, the actual price of 399 yuan.

In another online store, a 53-degree sauce-flavored liquor called "Feitian Reception Wine" was displayed on the page with the words "internal liquor" in its name. The outer packaging of this liquor is very similar to Feitian Maotai wine, and the word "special" is specially marked on the wine box.

A practitioner in the wine sales industry told reporters that many consumers have asked him whether there is "special wine", and there are indeed people in the industry who are selling wine marked with the word "special supply". Some merchants continue to renovate their tricks and adopt more hidden means to evade supervision, especially the use of "special supply" and "exclusive supply" signs to sell and promote goods by using "code words" such as pinyin abbreviations and Chinese character homophony on e-commerce platforms.

The manufacture and sale of counterfeit goods is rampant

Merchants make huge profits

The quality of "special" and "internal" goods from unknown sources is naturally difficult to guarantee.

Some time ago, the Market Supervision Bureau of Wulong District of Chongqing Municipality disclosed the "May 5" extraordinarily large case of manufacturing and selling special counterfeit wine, deeply excavating the social problems of the wanton circulation of "special supply" fake wine and new criminal methods such as using commercial investigation apps to accurately sell.

Beijing police once cracked down on a gang that made and sold counterfeit alcohol, and the suspects bought packaging materials from other provinces and hid in a remote self-built house in a rural suburb of Beijing. These so-called "special wines", which are sold for thousands of yuan, are filled with loose wine of about 20 yuan per catty.

"Wine in Moutai" and "Wine for Employees"... During the daily inspection, the market supervision department of Binhe Road in Jinchang City, Gansu Province, found that a large number of "special" sauce-fragrant liquor was placed on the shelves of a store, marked as the original place of "Kweichow Moutai Wine Co., Ltd." Law enforcement officers contacted relevant enterprises and identified them as counterfeit goods.

Li Lin revealed that with the introduction of a series of prohibitions, "special supply" and "internal supply" goods have been transferred underground, and some lawbreakers have put on fake and shoddy goods under the cloak of "special supply" and "internal supply" to confuse consumers and amass money.

"These 'special wines' and 'internal wines' are most likely old bottles of new wine, filled with bulk wine of more than a dozen yuan or tens of yuan, and then sold to acquaintances or admiring consumers through the liquor stores operated by the offline line. And the transformed bulk low-end wine, with the blessing of 'special supply', can often be sold for hundreds or even thousands of yuan. Li Lin said that behind the strong demand, it is actually driven by huge profits.

Recently, the Liuyang Municipal Public Security Bureau in Hunan Province cracked a case of producing and selling counterfeit "special supply" liquor. The main suspect in the case, Mao, who used to work in a distillery, found suppliers of bottles, labels and outer packaging boxes from Shandong and Yueyang, Hunan Province, and found a bankrupt distillery, using the distillery's workshop and equipment to produce, fill and package liquor. Fake Liuyang River wine marked "internal special" and "limited supply" on wine bottles and outer packaging boxes is sold to the outside world.

Fake liquor has been transformed into "special Liuyang River wine" and placed on the shelves of markets and shops. Originally, the body of the wine was 8 yuan per catty, and Mao was sold at 150 yuan per box (6 bottles per box), and the terminal price was higher.

In fact, as early as January 2020, Hunan Liuyanghe Liquor Industry Development Co., Ltd. issued a special statement: the so-called "Liuyang River 1th Anniversary Internal Supply" and "Liuyang River 50 Years Internal Special Supply" and other liquor circulating in the market are counterfeit and inferior infringing products.

Suspected of multiple violations

It must be strictly prohibited

Some insiders analyzed that today, mainstream liquor companies will no longer produce the so-called "special liquor" and "special liquor", and the such liquor products that can be seen on the market can be roughly divided into three categories: First, the "special liquor" produced by mainstream liquor enterprises before the ban may still exist; Second, before the ban, some small wineries produced products under the banner of "exclusive", and the quality was uneven; Third, the quality of counterfeit wine produced by criminals without authorization recently is not guaranteed.

Experts interviewed said that if there are still merchants selling alcohol under the banner of "special supply", they are suspected of violating laws and regulations.

Faye Wong, managing partner of the competition legal department of Beijing Kyoto Law Firm, believes that the repeated prohibition of "specialized" liquor reflects that some unscrupulous businesses cater to the psychological needs of certain public and use relevant symbols and features to confuse the public and seek improper benefits.

"The Advertising Law stipulates that advertisements must not contain false or misleading content, and must not deceive or mislead consumers." Faye Wong said that the core of "special supply" products lies in climbing the credibility and influence of state organs, which is essentially deceiving and misleading consumers, which obviously violates the prohibitive norms of the Advertising Law.

According to Fan Chao, a lawyer at Guangdong Zhongcheng Law Firm, based on the fact that many consumers think that "special supply" and "exclusive supply" mean scarce goods and guaranteed quality, illegal merchants use this gimmick to raise the selling price, and the profit margin has risen sharply, which is also suspected of unfair competition and should be severely cracked down.

In addition, experts mentioned that the brand-name liquor sold on the market may involve illegal acts such as fraudulent use of factory names, infringement of the exclusive right to use registered trademarks, and failure to perform purchase inspection, or violate the Product Quality Law and the Trademark Law. Unscrupulous merchants may violate food safety laws and even criminal laws.

Faye Wong said that for "specialized" wines, while strengthening law enforcement and supervision, relevant platforms can carry out risk warnings in prominent positions, set automatic identification and early warning for known code words, and add technical and commercial auxiliary measures such as manual review points for specific commodities. At the same time, strengthen the interpretation of the law by cases, so that consumers understand that "special supply" does not mean privilege and superiority, but may be special fake and special.

"It is hoped that consumers will consume rationally, actively learn and master the common sense of packaging and raw and auxiliary materials labeling related to daily necessities, and further improve the consumer experience." Faye Wong said.

Fan Chao suggested that the alcohol industry should strengthen standardized management, and once the phenomenon of counterfeiting and sale is discovered, it should be reflected and reported to the relevant management departments in a timely manner. When consumers buy alcohol products, especially high-end alcohol products, they must keep their eyes open, choose formal purchase channels as much as possible, and avoid buying fake goods.