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isten in English

Fake Lego in China

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Published: 5.06.2019
Level 4   |   Time: 2:44
Accent: British
BBC Global News Podcast (5.27.2019)

Police in China have arrested four people for making and selling fake Lego.

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You can download the file [ HERE ].

    

triangle Directions


  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary


  • piece together [phv] -figure out
  • a gang [n] - a group of criminals
  • accuse [v] - say that someone has done something wrong
  • counterfeit [adj] - an exact copy of something in order to deceive
  • raid [v] - a surprise visit by police
  • seize [v] - take something by warrant or legal right (by police)
  • striking similarities [exp] - very similar
  • an imitation [n] - a copy
  • a brick [n] - a piece of lego
  • primarily [adv] - mainly
  • effectively [adv] - basically
  • a patent [n] - a license giving the sole right to make, use or sell an invention
  • expire [exp] - run out, become invalid
  • innovation [n] - a new method, idea, product
  • fundamental [adj] - of central importance
  • slap on [phv] - attach
  • a logo [n] - a symbol of company
  • matter [b] - be important
  • via [prep] - with, through

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression


triangle Questions


  1. What were the four people arrested for?
    Not paying taxes
    Stealing counterfeit Lego
    Producing counterfeit Lego
    Selling counterfeit Lego

  2. What was the value of the Lego that was seized by police?
    $300 000
    $3 000 000
    $30 000 000

  3. How many pieces of Lego were seized by police?
    60 000 pieces
    600 000 pieces
    6 000 000 pieces

  4. What was the name of the company producing the fake Lego?
    Lepin
    Shenzhen
    Brother's Brick

  5. Where was the Lego seized?
    Lepin
    Beijing
    Shenzhen

  6. What was the Star Wars Lego rebranded as?
    Star Plan
    Brother's Brick
    Lepin

  7. Who is Andrew Becraft?
    One of the men arrested
    A Lego employee
    The editor of a Lego website

  8. How does Becraft describe the fake Lego?
    Much lower quality than real Lego
    Slightly lower quality than real Lego
    The same quality as real Lego
    Better quality than real Lego
    Much less expensive than real Lego
    A little less expensive than real Lego
    About the same price as real Lego

  9. Can real Lego and fake Lego be used together?
    Yes
    No

  10. Why is it not illegal to make fake Lego?
    China doesn't have counterfeit laws.
    The patent on Lego has expired.
    The company bought the rights from Lego.

  11. What was the Chinese company doing that was actually illegal?
    Copying set designs from Lego
    Selling their sets outside of China
    Changing the names of the sets

  12. Where does Becraft keep his Lego?
    In his office
    In his bedroom
    In his living room

  13. Why does Becraft not decorate his house with Lego?
    He doesn't have enough.
    It is too expensive.
    His wife would not like it.


triangle Script



After piecing together the clues, police in China have arrested a gang accused of manufacturing and selling 30 million dollars worth of counterfeit Lego. State media say officers arrested four people when they raided the toy maker Lepin in the southern city of Shenzhen. They also seized more than 600 000 fake Lego pieces. Investigators say there were striking similarities with the real Lego’s designs including a Star Wars imitation rebranded as Star Plan.

So how did these bricks compare to the original ones? Lise Juset spoke to Andrew Becraft, editor- in- chief of Brothers Brick, a news website for Lego fans.

It’s very very close to the quality of Lego at anything from 60 to 80 percent of the price off. But it just doesn’t feel quite the same and isn’t quite as good quality as the official products from Lego.

But for someone who wants to build something with Lego, they could, say do with Lepin, they could still achieve the same result?

In most cases, yes. The parts are largely the same. They’re largely compatible, but that’s primarily because they’re effectively counterfeits. And counterfeits of course are going to be very similar to the real thing but just not quite the same.

And what is the big issue here because I understand the patent has expired on Lego, which means others can make similar products?

Absolutely. This isn’t an issue of competition. Lego certainly needs competition. Good companies need that for innovation and to keep prices fair for consumers. However, the fundamental issue here is that companies like Lepin are literally stealing the actual set designs that Lego has spent, in some cases, years doing research and development on. They literally steal the graphics from the box art and slap a Lepin logo on top of the Lego logo. So it’s straightforward counterfeiting as opposed to competition.

The fact that someone wants to copy it is of course an emphasis on just how much Lego matters. It’s a huge industry now. Everyone seems to have Lego. How much Lego do you have?

A lot. It’s all over my living room. It’s over in the corner because I am not sure that interior decoration via Lego would be quite what my wife is interested in.

Andrew Becraft, Lego man and editor-in-chief of Brothers Brick, a news website for LEGO fans.


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