I'm personally not that much surprised that an actual military force is using replica gear.
That's because their's the same case here in Korea.
A lot of the CIRAS type vest used by the UDT/SEALs and the ROK special forces are actually what we would consider 'replica gear'.
The reason behind that is because this army had no experience about advanced infantry nylon gear (We still use LC-1 type gear and like old old old school LBVs what the US would've used from the 80s and 90s. We barely have MOLLE gear at all), and they had no idea of replicas and real steel. All they thought was the lowest bidding provider in the market and that condition was matched by replica gear. And since the military high heads had no experience with this new fancy gear, nobody possibly knew the differences in IR treatment, actual durability through stitching, and etc.
So as a similar case, I kindda understand the Chinese military using that stuff to actual soldiers. Not that I am saying they are a shitty organization, but just considering the number of their forces and their probably limited budget to buy infantry gear, that may be a plausible solution, cuz hey, they do hold during training.
Anyways, to summarize, not every military has the mindset like us gearwhores of 'real steel' and 'replica'. If you're low on budget, lack the knowledge and know-how of such stuff, new to this whole thing, and infantry gear is near the bottom of your priority's list(probably a result of the earlier reasons), and the stuff just looks right and holds enough, then hey, replica gear might just fit your needs.
Hopefully feedback after getting hit by bullets would change that mindset