Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Intellectual Property Farce in China- Faking the Ipad, Everyone is Involved

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 16, 2010

Here is a copy of an article in the Chinadaily. I have been here for a while, but I am still surprised. I’m not at all surprised that China is selling fake Ipads for less than U$ 100, but am surprised that the Chinadaily has the balls to put it on the front page of their digital edition. Let me explain…
China entered the WTO or World Trade Organization, and in so doing, they were made to respect intellectual property rights and their protection. What this means is that the selling of fake goods should be discouraged at a minimum and hopefully be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But this is China, and for some reason we offer them ‘courtesies’ that we do not extend to other countries.
For instance, the article below describes the sellign of ‘fake Ipads’, and does not attempt to skirt the fact that they are fake. In addition, the place where they are being sold, the silk market in Beijing, is less than 10 minutes from Tianenman, or the nations capital. So, how is it that China in good faith can claim that they are doing all that they can to protect intellecutal property when articles like this are being run? the answer, quite simply is that it is China and at present, the worlds dirty little secret. As long as we get cheap goods from Wal mart, we are willing to over look the hu.ma.n ri.gh.ts abuses, the abuse, the lack of law and so on.
Some may say that this is too much to do about such a minor thing. Lets pretend that these fake Ipads were something like weed, yeah marijuana. How about an article from Mexico stating that they now have a better strain of weed, with a higher THC content, all for a cheaper price, and then they proceed to show people packing and shipping the weed to the US, all to be sold for a profit. I wonder how the US would react….
Of course some may say the above example is not as benign as selling fake Ipads, but Apple may disagree. And to me, as someone living here, it seems that the level of pirated goods is so extreme that not even the locals will trust the stores here. If they want to buy a Polo, they go to Hong Kong, this place has no credibility.
But back to the story… So how is it that the chiandaily runs the article and the store shown and others mentioned are not immediately shut down for selling fake goods? In the west this would never fly, we adhere to a thing called ethics, or at least a fear of jail time. But this is China, the worlds dirty secret, where they can run a story like this and I bet, if I go to the silk market tonight, I will see that same lady selling the same product, and there will be no police intervention.
China is growing and we need to learn, the world needs to rethink its China strategy….
Here is a copy of the article

Fake iPads selling like hot cakes in Beijing

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-14 10:06
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Fake iPads selling like hot cakes in Beijing
Fake iPads displayed on a shelf in Silk Street Market, Beijing. Zou Hong / China Daily

BEIJING – Fake iPads are flying off the shelves for as little as 650 yuan ($95.67) at Silk Street Market, a tourist hotspot in Beijing.

Sales assistants at dozens of outlets on the fourth floor of the market vied with each other to attract customers and were more than eager to show off the device’s capabilities to anyone showing an interest. They happily described the products as fake but said they were just as good as the real thing.

The fakes have the iconic Apple logo stamped on the back alongside the words “Made in China” and “Designed in China”. They come in boxes labeled iPad that feature a photograph of a genuine iPad screen on the top.

Despite also bearing a stamp advertising that they have 64 gigabytes of memory, several assistants confided the devices only had 1 gigabyte and a memory card would be needed to increase storage and operating capacity.

Genuine iPads sell from $499 in the United States and are marketed as the best way to experience the web, email, photos and video. They have a 9.7-inch multi-touch screen and can be used to download thousands of applications including book-reading software.

The fakes at the Silk Street Market are slightly smaller and, when switched on, display a logo saying they run on Google’s Android system. A test of the product showed the Internet connectivity and WIFI functions worked very well, music and video could be downloaded and played and photos displayed well. All the fakes had USB portsand memory card sockets. Staff said the batteries lasted two hours before requiring a recharge. They are not capable of downloading Apple applications from the iTunes Store.

Staff at the Silk Street Market routinely offered the fakes for sale at 1,500 yuan but quickly reduced the asking price to 700. They were happy to sell as many as prospective customers were willing to buy.

One sales assistant was willing to sell the device for 650 yuan and showed a document that put her cost price at 640 yuan. At every outlet China Daily visited, staff said the fakes were made at a factory in Shenzhen, the same city the genuine articles are made by Foxconn on behalf of Apple.

When quizzed, staff said it would not be advisable to openly carry the device through an airport but should be hidden in the luggage. They said the management at the Silk Market had no problems with the fakes being sold.

China Daily reported in April that the market wanted to drive out counterfeit name-brand goods after it terminated a lease on an area of the emporium that had been used to sell fake designer goods.Management at the venue, one of the capital’s biggest clothing markets, said they were eager to kill its reputation as the go-to place for cheap imitations of high-end designer goods.

2 Responses to “Intellectual Property Farce in China- Faking the Ipad, Everyone is Involved”

  1. Alex said

    Jaaaa I bought 4 fake iPad, at Silk Market 700RMB each one, but this is an ENEKEN MC3000, with SO android, it’s like an adaptation of a phone to a bigger screen. This fake iPad was launched to market before iPad

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