So big that an alleged supplier of knock-off iPhones in the country produced at least 40,000 units, before local police shut down the massive operation. Since January, the supplier delivered more than 41,000 fake iPhones, alongside 66,000 cell phone circuit sheets, for an estimation of over US$19.7 million.
Enforcement of intellectual property has been incepted since April as per Beijing police and local suppliers have been seeking to cash in with iPhone’s popularity. According to a Police statement posted on Weibo, the Beijing-based firm first caught the authorities’ eye after fake China-made handsets were seized in the United States in May.
The bulk of Apple’s products are manufactured in China, this obviously includes the iPhone, which is one of the company’s most successful products.
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.
Police said they arrested nine suspects and found six assembly lines and more than one million cell phone parts in the company’s factory, Xinhua reported. The raid, which took place on May 14, was revealed on social media by the public security bureau on Sunday.
Police seized 1,400 handsets and large quantities of accessories during the raid.
According to a report by the Guardian, “hundreds” of workers repackaged second-hand smartphone components as iPhones to sell on for a profit.
Disguised as a gadget maintenance shop, the company operated in the northern outskirts of Beijing and was apparently the brainchild of a married couple.