Counterfeit iPhone charger causes another electric shock in China, sends man into coma

19 Jul 2013

The iPhone 4, the device used by Wu Jiantong

Another electric shock incident in China has been linked to Apple’s iPhone, but the real culprit appears to be counterfeit chargers made by third parties.

A 30-year-old man is reportedly in a coma in a Beijing hospital after receiving an electric shock from his iPhone 4, which was charging at the time.

SINA English reports that Wu Jiantong was rescued by his sister, who also felt a shock as she removed the charger from the socket. Following the incident, her brother was unresponsive and foaming at the mouth. He received CPR from paramedics who arrived at the scene and doctors managed to revive him when he reached Hai Dian Hospital.

Jiantong’s condition had stabilised after three days in the hospital, but he has been in a coma ever since the accident.

This follows the recent death of 23-year-old Ma Ailun from the Xinjiang region in northwest China, who was electrocuted when she answered a call on her iPhone while it was charging.

Apple expressed its condolences to the young woman’s family and has launched an investigation into the matter. However, China Central Television claims Ailun was also using a charger made by a third party.

iPhone owners in China can pick up a counterfeit charger for as little as 4 yuan, which is about 50 cent. These low-cost chargers may use low-quality components that can’t handle the 220-volt electric circuit, allowing this to run through the phone and harm the user.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic