That China is developing fast is no news, that Beijing is focusing on the 2008 Olympics is no secret either. They even start realizing the value of IP and are in touch with Hong Kong customs officers to train up their own staff on how to recognize fake products.
So the customs officers receive training on how to recognize the so called FUWA mascottes. There are basically 5 characters. a fish, a panda, a Tibetan antelope a swallow and the Olympic flame. They are symbols representing the so called five elements of sea, forest, fire, earth and sky.
The naming of the Olympics Mascots is actually quite interesting, as they are called BeiBei, JingJing, HuanHuan, YingYing and NiNi. When taking the first part of every name it leads to BeiJing HuanYing Ni! or in English, Beijing welcomes you!
Anyway, especially the Guangdong customs team, united with Hong Kong via the Guangdong/Hong Kong expert group on the protection of Intellectual Property are stepping up the efforts in clamping down on illegal copies of the FUWA materials sold. Results so far cover.....key hangers and a number of moulds to produce goods.
The main motivation behind it is obviously that all those articles bring in BIG CASH for the olympics organization...and who wants to loose out on that.