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China tried to build a replica of Manhattan… and it’s not looking so great

Yujiapu, in China’s Tianjin Binhai New Area, was modeled on Manhattan and expected to become the financial center of the world. But it languishes as many wasteful Chinese ghost cities have. At one point it was reported that the Juilliard School had signed an agreement to set up an institute in Yujiapu. And there were plans for a Rockefeller and Lincoln Center as well. But construction in this Manhattan hopeful has ground to a halt.

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Tonight vs Hotel Tonight – Did GREE just rip off one of America’s most popular hotel apps?

Smartphones and tablets improve almost faster than consumers can keep up with, and the apps designed for them change even more quickly. That means that there is a lot of opportunity for plagiarism. But surely sometimes it’s just a coincidence, right? It’s not out of the question that two developers could realistically be trying to fulfill the same need.

This week has brought us one more heated internet debate: Is hotel application Tonight by Japan’s GREE a rip-off of North American app Hotel Tonight, or are their similarities just coincidence?

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Japanese people surprised to find that “popular Japanese store” Meiso doesn’t exist in Japan

This stylish chain of stores has seen branches popping up all over China and boasts “Japanese brands” and “100% Japanese quality” all for the reasonable price of 10 yuan (US$1.60). It’s called “Meiso” in its native language of Japanese where it is said to have found major success… which is interesting because there doesn’t seem to be a single Meiso outlet in the whole country of Japan.

Well, actually that’s not completely true. Much like how the spirit of Santa Claus lives in every child’s heart, the spirit of Meiso can be found in three of Japan’s largest retailers – Uniqlo, Mujirushi Ryohin, and Daiso – in it’s eerily similar design to all three. And that’s just the tip of the weirdness iceberg.

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Surprising knock-off goods from Japan

Nowadays, when it comes to knock-offs of popular products, most people think of China. We’re not just saying that to pick on our neighbors to the west, there’s just an awful lot of suspect copies. Korean bootlegs have had their time making the rounds as well, but everyone seems to leave Japan alone. That is until now. A video uploaded by Japanese YouTube user, msdoom99, has surfaced with the goal of giving all those Japanese netizens who have laughed at Chinese and Korean knockoffs a taste of Japan’s little-known copies. Take a look at just a few and ask yourself, “So who’s laughing now?”

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New North Korean Sneakers Bear More than a Passing Resemblance to Japanese Brand

North Korea isn’t exactly renown for its footwear industry, but the recent appearance of a new pair of sneakers on North Korean television has caused quite a stir in the Asian media.

Featuring an “extra-supportive heel section” and a red design with a series of white stripes, the North Korean design bears a striking resemblance to Japanese company Asics’ own model.

Is this a simple coincidence or are we looking at an all-out rip-off?

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