Chinese counterfeits are always at it, but at least the police in Beijing are making some efforts to stop the flow of rip-offs making it out of there county.
Police in Beijing have busted a factory that produced more than 41,000 fake iPhones worth as much as 120 million yuan ($US19 million), including some that reached the United States, and have arrested nine suspects in the counterfeiting operation. Apple is one of the most popular brands in China, where authorities have stepped up efforts in recent years to dispel the country’s reputation for turning out counterfeit goods, Business Insider wrote.
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There has been a move toward enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights, and a push for companies to apply for trademarks and patents that has led to crackdowns on suppliers of fake goods. The raid that was conducted in May included a married couple who were leading the operation, which was operating as a gadget maintenance shop on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital.
According to The Guardian, the details were revealed in a social media posting on Sunday by the public security bureau in Beijing. The group, headed by a 43-year-old man surnamed Yu, along with his 40-year-old wife surnamed Xie, both from the southern hardware manufacturing city of Shenzhen, allegedly set up the Beijing factory with six assembly lines in January, the bureau said.
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The supplier had also manufactured over a million imitation handset accessory units. Beijing police said their investigation started with a tip-off from U.S. authorities, who had seized some of the fake devices.
It is unknown where the counterfeit phones were headed or how many have already made it there.
According to PC World, the factory employed hundreds of people, and was specialized in taking discarded motherboards from old phones and then repackaging them into new casings for sale as knock-off handsets. Large quantities of these old motherboards came from outside China. To supply the casings, the factory relied on material shipped in from the Chinese city of Shenzhen that was labeled with brand names.
In 2011, bloggers in the southwestern city of Kunming discovered more than a dozen unauthorized brick-and-mortar outlets that carefully replicated the interior decor, and even employee uniforms, used in genuine Apple stores, The Guardian wrote.
The only way to ensure that you are getting what you pay for is by buying from reputable businesses.