Architectural plagiarism is a widespread phenomenon. Copycat cities have begun to arise far and wide. New Parises, Venices and villages with English or Dutch motifs have spread internationally, detached from local physical and cultural contexts. Urban mimicry is becoming a remarkable residential design strategy in China, where it affects not only single buildings or monuments, but entire urban landscapes are imported from European regions. The allure of European architectural imagery plays its part in shaping the urban fabrics of Eastern cities. These copycat cities are not theme parks, instead they aim to recreate authentically convincing residential neighbourhoods, complete with amenities and services. This accuracy of recreation contributes to the impression of engagement with the original European lifestyle for inhabitants. On a broader scale, copycat cities challenge traditional concepts of originality and authenticity. Copy has traditionally been considered the antithesis of the original in Western discourse. Given the contrast between traditional notions of originality and copycat cities, the question arises: is it originality or authenticity, we seek in architectural products? This paper is an investigation into the socio-political motivations for producing replica European cities in China. Looking to recent packaged residential projects in China, this paper investigates the sense of authenticity of replicated residential cities by examining architectural form and meaning.