China Arrests Five iPhone Counterfeiters

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iPhone Piracy

Chinese authorities arrested five people involved in counterfeiting iPhones, according to Reuters, which cited a local Chinese newspaper. The Five allegedly spent around 2,000 yuan ($313) on parts used to construct almost picture-perfect fake iPhones that they then sold for 4,000 yuan.


“It’s really hard for customers to distinguish the fake ones from the genuine ones,” a police officer told the unspecified Chinese newspaper. The devices apparently functioned as an iPhone, but suffered from shorter battery life.

The police seized some 200 iPhones in the process of arresting the counterfeiting gang.

China, long criticized for allowing widespread piracy and counterfeiting, has seemingly been working at stopping some of the Apple-related counterfeiting occurring in the country.

In July, for instance, the country shut down five retailers that had set up fake Apple Stores. Never mind that some of those stores were allowed to re-open with minor changes, while continuing to look like Apple Stores. In August, authorities announced they had identified 22 more fake Apple Stores or stores that were illegally using Apple branding.

Also in August, police arrested several men who were using a crossbow and a zip line to hoist smuggled Apple goods from Hong Kong into mainland China.

For added, or at least related, dirt, Wikileaks published a U.S. diplomatic cable in August that gave a thorough rundown of Apple’s efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting in China.

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I consider it quite likely that somewhere in China there’s a huge factory turning out fake iPhones and these 5 were make scapegoats to make it look like China is cracking down. Look at all those fake Apple stores. Officials refuse to shut them down because it would throw a lot of people out of work. If there’s a factory employing hundreds of people producing products for those stores and distributing some of the profits to the “right” people in power it’ll never get shut down no matter how much Apple complains.

inner being

Nerver trust the chinese, they are 2 faced and totally selfish.


Hilarious graphic, Bryan; although it looks like an index finger, I should think the middle would be more pirate apropos.

Perhaps if these 5 had simply claimed the shorter battery life was due to these phones being jail-broken and Flash-enabled, no one would have been the wiser.

Residing in Asia, I sympathise with Bregalad’s comments. Piracy is a multi-billion dollar/year business in many emerging Asian economies, with links to the upper echelons of government ruling parties. They often get closed when their benefactor and protector is tossed out of power by elections or if they are supported by a member of the opposition party. The government (i.e. treasury), however, gets no official revenue from said traffic, nor would it want to. Revenue flows, instead, into apparatchik pockets.

Nonetheless, the rapid burgeoning of the middle classes, and their demand for genuine product (amazingly consistent), and the desire by these governments to keep their middle classes happy (preserving the status quo being the objective), as well as their desire for national prestige (top brands on display in-country), creates an incentive to keep companies like Apple if not happy, then at least not unhappy enough to leave.

An imperfect solution for an imperfect situation.

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