China cracks down on fake iPhones factory producing 41,000 counterfeits

28 Jul 2015

China is getting tough on its underground industry of producing fake iPhones after a recent raid shut down one factory that was producing as many as 41,000 counterfeit phones worth almost €17m.

The country has long been associated with producing counterfeit goods at much cheaper prices than the originals, and now it appears that it has become too much for the Chinese authorities to accept the continued production of fake iPhones.

According to Reuters, the Chinese police conducted a large-scale raid on the property back in May, only to announce it to the Chinese social media site Weibo on Sunday.

The factory was churning out some of the largest quantities of fake iPhones in the country and as part of the raid nine people who were running the factory were arrested, including the two owners who had set up the factory in January this year.

As part of its operations, the pair had built six operation lines hiring hundreds of workers to take components from second-hand smartphones and repackage them as iPhones to be sold both in the Chinese and international markets.

Catering for iPhone 6 demand

During the raid, the Chinese authorities were able to gather 1,400 of the phones as evidence following a tip-off from US authorities who had come across some of the factory’s shipments entering the country.

The factory is not the only one of its kind in the country, with many entrepreneurial minds hoping to avail of the insatiable demand for the iPhone 6, in particular, where its cost of at least US$649 is out of the price range of many.

Aside from being a product that offers none of the warranties of the original, many counterfeit phones are produced with little care for the recipient and could potentially overheat, leading to fires.

Fake Chinese iPhone 6 image via Yuichirock/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic