Fake iPhone maker shut down

A Chinese manufacturer of fake iPhones has been shut down after authorities learned it had produced a stunning 41,000 handsets.

Nine people have been arrested including the husband and wife couple behind the venture,

reportedly aged in their early 40s.

The factory was raided after a tipoff from US officials which had seized some of the fake iPhones after they had been landed in America.

So sophisticated was the operation that many of the workers at the plant genuinely believed they were making the real thing.

The factory, located on the northern edge of Beijing, was actually discovered and raided back in May, but the event was only revealed by Chinese authorities over the weekend.

According to the BBC, “hundreds” of staff were employed in the ruse, which included repackaging used smartphone parts in new iPhone cases.

It took just four months for the company to make 41,000 phones, all of which were exported, with sales topping US$19 million. By our calculations, that values each fake iPhone at US$463.

All of which rather makes Hong Kong Customs’ weekend seizure of 88 smartphones being smuggled across the border into the Mainland pale into insignificance. Photos suggest those phones were iPhones, although likely to be gray imports.

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