China is usually not seen in a positive light when it comes to counterfeit products. But the latest uncovering by Beijing police in a raid on Chinese firm, operating fake iPhones business, perhaps trumps all the previous records of counterfeiting.
Over 40000 fake iPhones worth over $19 million (120 million yuan) since January were said to be made by an unnamed Chinese firm which reportedly employed hundreds of people in its factory consisting of six assembly lines of production.
The report of raid which took place in May was made public by the public security bureau of China recently.
According to the report, the firm was headed by a 43 year old man going by the surname Yu and his 40 year old wife with surname. The firm was established in an industrial area on the outskirts of the main city under the guise of an electronic gadget maintenance company.
They specialized in extracting motherboards from old phones imported from foreign countries and bought the fake casing of iPhone from the southern Chinese city of Shenzan. They used to assemble and repackage the phones and shipped them within China as well as in other countries, although it has not yet been found out how they managed to do that given the seemingly long time they had been operating.
The raid was carried out after US officials found 9 fake iPhones and informed the Chinese authorities about the same, which quickly sprung into action.
However, fake iPhone rackets aren’t a new thing in China where iPhones are immensely popular and popular to an extent that an entire mall is functioning where second hand iPhones are sold after refurbishment.
Not just this, a whole brick and mortar fake iPhone store was found in 2011, where the interiors of store and the uniform of employees resembled to that of original Apple store and its employees. It was after this particular case whose photos went viral over internet that Chinese officials began seriously considering the issue.
Before that, despite regular complaints made by Apple over such counterfeit products, there had been no satisfactory action by the officials.
On the uncovering of this new racket, Apple has not made any specific comments saying that the investigation is going on. Just few days back, in an interview with WSJ, CEO of Apple Tim Cook was quoted saying that they expect China to be their biggest market one day.
This claim is certainly not far from truth given the staggering sales of iPhones in China this year which have beaten the US sales for the first time, with revenue of third quarter rising by 112 % in greater China (mainland China plus Hong Kong and Taiwan).