It sounds like the set-up for a joke, but it’s true; Groupon’s attempt to crack the Chinese market has been slowed by the discovery that the “luxury watches” its subsidiary was selling weren’t entirely legit.
Hundreds bought the Tissot watches offered by Gaopeng.com when the site offered them for only 690 yuan (Just over $100), believing it to be a deal too good to be true. Sadly, it was; the watches were revealed to be counterfeits, and the company has now launched an investigation into the matter, as well as promising to refund all purchases.
Gaopeng, a joint venture between Groupon and Chinese company Tencent Holdings, released a statement that said that the company had discovered that their supplier “had given us fake agent documents” for the watches, adding that they were “outraged and… have begun legal proceedings. We hope to protect the interests of consumers and Gaopeng through legal methods.” The statement also said that those responsible for letting the false documentation pass have been “seriously dealt with.”
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.