Unauthorized non-Apple iPhone charger cited in probe of Chinese woman’s electrocution death

“A woman killed by an electric shock while using her iPhone may have been using a non-Apple-made battery charger at the time of her death, Chinese state media reported,” Jeremy Blum reports for The South China Morning Post.

“The victim, 23-year-old Ma Ailun, had been using what appeared to be an unauthorised iPhone 4 charger, CCTV reported on Tuesday,” Blum reports. “According to Xiang Ligang, a telecommunications expert interviewed by CCTV, the charger Ma had been using may have been a ‘knockoff’ – a fake. ‘Knockoff chargers sometimes cut corners,’ Xiang said. ‘The quality of the capacitor and circuit protector may not be good, and this may lead to the capacitor breaking down and sending 220 volts of electricity directly into the cell phone battery.'”

Blum reports, “Xiang said that normally, the electric current from an overloaded charger would overheat the phone’s casing, damaging the circuits inside and rendering the device unusable. In the case of Ma’s iPhone 4, however, authorities said the phone could still be started normally despite severe traces of burning on its exterior. The phone’s data cable, charger, and plug were all intact.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Faulty non-Apple charger, not iPhone 4, could have killed Chinese stewardess – July 17, 2013
Electrocution: Using illegal third-party iPhone accessories – July 16, 2013
How likely is death by iPhone electrocution? Not very – July 15, 2013
Was this Chinese stewardess killed by her Apple iPhone 5? No – if anything, it was faulty charger – July 15, 2013
Apple to probe electric shock death of Chinese woman who used iPhone 5 while it was charging – July 15, 2013


  1. China showing they’re as capable as the rest of the world in investigative crime scene techniques; perhaps even surpassing the rest of us. It only took them, what, 3 or 4 days to make the bold leap and consider a 3rd-party knock-off charger as the culprit…cuz, you know, they’re so rare in China! Incredible sleuthing! Bravo…bravo!

  2. I suspect this is all part of the grand tests from Red China on Apple. Despite the tragedy of a dead human, Red China will use every chance it get to test Apple’s responses. If Apple continue to response in a way that is acceptable by Red China, may be… just may be, it will okay Apple and China Mobile deals.

    my 2 cents…

  3. Wait till China starts buying up American Food Companies. Check your labels for your Bacon. “Bacon, Made in China by parts unknown, but it’s good. Trust us!” 😉

  4. Not surprising and it’s very unfortunate that such things happen as frequently as they do.

    A kid was also recently killed in the UK by a faulty fake Gameboy charger.

    It’s a real shame that honest companies who go to great expense to design and certify their equipment as safe have to compete in the marketplace with fly by nighters who cut all corners and just stamp a certification without actually doing anything.

    The real news is that these deaths could be avoided if factories and shipments were checked for authenticity by Chinese authorities – with heavy penalties otherwise – or by Customs agencies all around the world.

  5. “…normally, the electric current from an overloaded charger would overheat the phone’s casing, damaging the circuits inside and rendering the device unusable.”

    This part of the report is FALSE folks. A badly- or merely cheaply-designed charger can zap YOU but not your $600 device, if only ONE hot wire from the wall is connected to the case, and you complete the circuit from the case to the ground. The iPhone might not even suffer any harm.

    This type of dangerous cost cutting was common in brand name US radios & TVs as recently as the 1980s—Wikipedia’s “All American Five” article spells it out. Of course, “dangerous” means that most people have no idea of the risks and you need consumer protection laws to keep people safe.

  6. It is amazing that two cases have been reported with the iPhone and third party use cables. This doesn’t happen with other brands as often does it?

    Apple must be doing something to not make these compatible… they should be held liable IMO!

    1. WTF! Please stop blaming Apple. Since it Apple product they have a right to make it any they like. Since she die with an iPhone 4 and a 30 pin connector, their are many legit third party iPhone chargers in the open market, even some at a lot cheap than Apple. As not happen with other not happening as often that just plain Bullshit, it happen just as often or maybe even more, it just never report. Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Blackberry, Mircosft or Motorola all face illegal third party Mirco USB charger that have fail. Beside most charger can charge multi devices as long as you have the right cable, she just happen to have the an IPhone So please stop blaming Apple and their design as being at fault. Your lame argument show how little you know about Apple and electric products in general.

  7. This report is silly. Is it an Apple charger or NOT?!

    I’ve been betting all along that it is a FAKE, of which there are reported to be millions. So let’s get the definitive answer here! Saying it ‘may’ have been fake is pointless. We knew that from day one!!!

  8. They dont have fi switches in china, do they? That would not be possible with a fi. Those poorly crafted chargers can easily kill people. Definitely not apples fault. Poor girl.

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