Chinese rip-offs

This article is about the Chinese rip-off industry – very interesting.

The article is basically discussing how far counterfeit goods have come in China. From poor quality t-shirts, now cars and serious electronics are also being copied. For instance when LG recently launched a new phone in China it didn’t sell because everyone already had a fake which worked just as well.

Maybe the real companies should push up volumes and make a little more money?

From the article:

  • Nearly every type of product can be—and is—cloned in China, sometimes so well that the ripped-off manufacturers inadvertently service the fakes when warranty claims come in.
  • In the south, one cloning operation didn’t just copy a technology company’s product line—it duplicated the entire company, creating a shadow enterprise with corporate headquarters, factories, and sales and support staff.
  • In the mid-’90s, developers began to build shadow factories—identical plants, often constructed from the same blueprints legitimate manufacturers used to launch their ventures. Sometimes the plans were sold by managers at the genuine facilities. Other times, local officials and organized crime conspired to create a second set of blueprints.
  • The cloners hire a team of between 20 and 40 engineers to begin decoding the circuit boards. At the same time, coders start to develop an operating system for the phone with a similar feature set. (The typical cloner either uses off-the-shelf code, writes something entirely new, or modifies a publicly available Linux-based system.) Both processes take about a month. By then, ancillary items—plastic casings, accessories, manuals and packaging—are ready as well.
  • When Samsung busted some of these cloners they were “impressed by the efficiency of the cloners, so much so that the company offered them jobs. The cloners said no. Earning about $1.25 per phone, the cloners said, they found it easier and more profitable to make fakes.”