03 May 2009

iClones ~ Counterfeit Knockoffs of iPhone & More

Thanks to my colleague Randy Zadra for spotting David Barboza's piece in the NYTimes, In China, Knockoff Cellphones Are a Hit, about the Hi-Phone and other counterfeit phones, systems, services, and more...
"Technological advances have allowed hundreds of small Chinese companies, some with as few as 10 employees, to churn out what are known here as shanzhai, or black market, cellphones, often for as little as $20 apiece. [...] Although shanzhai phones have only been around a few years, they already account for more than 20 percent of sales in China, which is the world’s biggest mobile phone market, according to the research firm Gartner."
Of course, the Chinese authorities are being two-faced, decrying the practice while actually tolerating it...
"So far, however, China has done little to stop the proliferation of fake mobile phones, which are even advertised on late-night television infomercials with pitches like "one-fifth the price, but the same function and look," or patriotic appeals like "Buy shanzhai to show your love of our country."
Open question: is this typical ethical fluidity merely what's to be expected of a fast-growing state or are such faux-solutions a deeper sign of things to come?

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