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Chinese Factories Export Enough Bad Apples to ‘Supply the World’

Factories in the Guangdong province in China are exporting enough counterfeit Apple products to “single-handedly supply the world”, a US diplomat wrote in a cable published online by WikiLeaks.

The cable, dated September 2008, said poor-quality fakes are most likely built using illegally-obtained production molds. “This can result in fakes that appear flawless on the surface, but whose internal hardware is substandard,” the cable read.

“For instance, what appear to be real iPods with 80-gigabytes of storage [in fact] have only a very inexpensive one-gigabyte hard drive inside.”

In detailing the security risk posed by these factories, the cable highlighted how Apple had no anti-counterfeiting team dealing with the issue before 2008. Since then, the Cupertino company has tapped ex-Pfizer staffer Don Shruhan to lead security efforts in the Asia Pacific region.

According to the missive, Shruhan said he is “afraid of the volume of fake Apple products being produced, though he is so far unable to quantify the scope”.

Apple has also collaborated with the Chinese government to organize raids on some of the underground factories churning out the knock-offs. In these raids, Chinese authorities may shut down manufacturers and impose fines and penalties on them.

[via LA Times]
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