Police bust fake iPhone factory in China

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China iPhone sales
Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Photo: Apple

Apple business may be soaring in China, but not all of it is the legit kind!

According to a new report, police in Beijing have busted a factory which produced in excess of 41,000 fake iPhones, with a market value of around $19 million.

Nine people were arrested as part of the counterfeiting operation, with the main two being a 40-something-year-old man and wife from manufacturing city Shenzhen. The factory in question was disguised to look like a gadget maintenance shop — although it employed hundreds of workers making “iPhones” for export out of second-hand smartphone components.

The raid itself happened in May, although news is only emerging now. Beijing police were initially tipped-off by U.S. authorities, who managed to get their hands on a few of the fake devices. It’s not clear where the fake iPhones were eventually headed.

This isn’t the first time Apple has run into counterfeiting problems in China. Back in 2011, dozens of unauthorized Apple Stores popped up in the country — replicating the interior decoration and even employee uniforms of authentic Apple Stores.

While it seems that police are increasingly cracking down on this kind of behavior, it’s one of the prices of doing business in China — where Apple has been increasingly pushing its brand.

As of late, Tim Cook has created a Weibo account to communicate with Apple’s Chinese fans, committed to opening many new Apple Stores, and publicly acknowledged that new Apple devices are designed with the Chinese market in mind.

Now if the company could just find a way to solve the piracy problem.

Source: Business Insider