WikiLeaks cables detail Apple’s battle with counterfeits in China

“Apple was slow to act against the booming counterfeit industry in China and other Asian countries, according to cables obtained by WikiLeaks,” Mark Milian reports for CNN.

“The technology giant eventually organized a team in March 2008 to curtail the explosion of knockoff iPods and iPhones, according to an electronic memo from the Beijing embassy dated September 2008,” Milian reports. “Yet, three years after Apple moved to crack down on widespread counterfeiting and put pressure on China, progress has been slow. Gadget piracy isn’t a high priority for the Chinese government, the U.S. reports and experts say.”

Milian reports, “Members of Apple’s recently formed global security team were recruited from Pfizer after they executed a series of crackdowns on counterfeit Viagra production in Asia, the report says.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Attribution: MacNN. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44” for the heads up.]


  1. The only thing the Chinese Government cares about is Jesus. They hear that word and they lock you up.

    Patent infringement… meh, they’re going to take over the world anyways, so why should they bother.

  2. Fake iPhones here in China cost about $60. They are PHENOMENALLY popular and sell out very fast. Some look pretty cheap, but others are so damn close you can’t tell them from the real iPhone.

  3. It’s a dilemma, either u sell ur products cheap or let the Chinese do it and leave you out, that’s how things work here. Capitalism u know, every town has their own factories ready to do their version of any cool thing.

      1. Here it’s not theft, it gives each town/company opportunity to copy and develop things further and have their own customized version suitable for their people. Capitalism is actually a wrong word, it’s more like open source development because very little money is usually made.

        There are some things made in China in every one of its 600000+ towns that are copy of a copy…And there used to be towns that had hundreds of factories trying to perfect their own versions of mp3 players, now those factories pushing out their versions of LED lighting.

        With Apple products they want the looks and don’t really need the quality or functionality =high price. Unless the phone is really as close as Samsung’s copy I would just think the Chinese copy products as cheap promotion items that increase buzz. I know several guys who bought the fake iPhones couple of years ago and now have the real thing.

  4. I have to say that I am so gad that wikileaks was around to expose…
    Wait a minute…
    Why do I need to know this so much that it justifies hacking into our Beijing embassy’s email?

    OpenLeaks lets journalists decide what is important enough to publish, where as wikileaks just indiscriminately dumps huge amounts of info to show that they have it.

    Whistleblowing is important, which is why it needs to be done right. Which means carefully choosing what to publish and not filling the air with excess noise just for the sake of spectacle or ego.

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