Shanghai's infamous Xiangyang market, once notorious for dealing mostly in knock-off brand name fashions and due for closure by the authorities this May, has found a new life online.

According to Chinese news agency Epoch Pacific, one site already up and running offers a variety of fake goods including a full range of LV bags and Northface jackets. The new site accepts payment by Paypal, Paypal China, Alipay, and various domestic bankcards.

Already barred from selling fake renditions of world-famous brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Burberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton, the street market - once a tourist favourite - has grown quiet since Chinese authorities made good their promise to clamp down on counterfeit goods retailing there. The move follows the cessation of Beijing's equally notorious Silk Alley market in January 2005.

Another more official site set up by China Telecom's Shanghai portal Shanghai Online also hosts an online Xiangyang market at Xiangyanglu.sh.online.cn. Similar to C2C sites such as eBay, the site allows individual sellers to open their own online Xiangyang Market virtual pitch. However, warnings tell sellers to avoid selling fake goods on the site.

By Michael Fitzpatrick