The sentence follows a co-ordinated raid on the Shanghai-based companies Changzhi Co and Yingpeng Co by Chinese authorities which revealed that the companies were fraudulently producing R410A and R407C counterfeit refrigerants for the Chinese market under the Honeywell Genetron brand name. The companies were ordered by a Chinese court in Shanghai to pay $52,000 in damages and make a public apology to Honeywell.
This was the second conviction for Changzhi. The company had been found guilty in 2011 of counterfeiting Honeywell’s logo and Genetron trademark without authorisation on its refrigerant cylinders and packaging. In that conviction, the company was fined CNY200,000 (£20,000) and its principal sentenced to three years’ probation under a suspended three-year prison sentence, and fined CNY30,000 (£3,000).
Honeywell first became aware of Changzhi’s activities in June 2010. A task force set up by Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce Putuo Branch seized a total of 633 counterfeit products with a sales value of £48,000 in the 2011 raid. The refrigerant had been sold in five provinces and a fine of £130,000 was imposed on distributors.
Honeywell has not disclosed the amount of refrigerant seized in the latest raids.