Multinationals are losing the battle to keep potentially dangerous Chinese fakes out of Western markets, and they themselves are partly to blame.

Lawyers, law enforcement officials and private investigators told The Associated Press that many companies choose to fight fakes in a way that facilitates widespread fraud.

Few spend the money required to tackle the powerful networks behind China's multibillion-dollar counterfeiting industry. Many have paid corrupt investigators who manufactured or sold the very counterfeit goods they were supposed to track down. In other cases, investigators colluded with counterfeiters.

The failure of major Western brands to better manage fraud is not just a waste of money. It also makes it easier for dangerous fakes to slip into global supply chains, and creates more work for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.