No matter what language you speak or from which country you hail, YOU qualify to be the next fraud victim of China’s famous silicon valley outlet mall for electronics known as Zhongguancun located in the heart of Haidian District, only 1,000 meters away from famous Peking University. Here at this bustling center of cut-rate electronics merchants operating from over 3,000 booths in two buildings connected by an overpass, you are certain of two things; 1) You will get a great deal and 2) You will also get ripped off!
More than 70% of all the camera’s, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and myriad of other electronic gadgets sold here are fakes – but they are best damn fakes you will ever find on Planet Earth! Our undercover team had a blast exploring the mall for 3 days and setting up the proprietors with hidden cameras and microphones. Here is some of what we discovered…
Almost 90% of the I-Phones sold at this location are bogus – or at least the internal components certainly are. Approximately 9 months ago there were a plethora of ads running all over China and abroad that said something like this…
“We will buy your old I-Phone 4 for $150 Cash – No Questions Asked” Thousand were bought up and then their guts were inserted into brand new IPhone 4S cases and packaged in identical Apple packaging. Over 12,000 of these phones were sold at Zhongguancun over the last 6 months. How do we know? One of the workers at the 3rd floor store pictured below told us so after we busted him red-handed and threatened to turn him over to Apple and the cops. He told us everything. On each new sale of old Iphones the company earns a 700 yuan profit (just over $100) and they sell an average of 40 per day. Do the math.
The same worker also told us the Sony, Nikon and Canon cameras were all fakes that were manufactured in a South China location that is kept super top secret. He himself only knows that they come from Zhejiang Province. Our new friend who we shall call “Ming” gave us tour of his shop and pointed out 27 fake products that looked damn real to us, right down to the bar-code and hologram stickers, as well as the warranty cards and operating manuals. Ming also took us to a back alley behind the mall where he showed us vans full of phony IPhones being onloaded. After we agreed not to photograph the driver nor his van’s tags, the driver agreed to talk with us and told us he makes this trip twice a week with 3,000 phones to just this one store. He says six other vans supply six other booths at Zhongguancun.
We had previous purchased the phone from this manager below who pleaded with us to delete his photo and return his card. We gracefully declined. By our calculation, this one shop sells over $50,000 of counterfeit products every single day representing a daily profit margin of $32,000. We visited the local police department in Haidian about this matter but they did not seem very interested and kept trying to blow us off.
We are now sending all we found to the local Procuriates (Prosecutor’s Office) and we will keep you posted of any developments. Don’t hold your breath, but certainly avoid Zhongguancun. Below is our receipt for the phony IPhone 4S that we purchased as evidence.