One in five mobile phones shipped abroad are phoney – report

Buy sh*t, get hit

Couple on phones photo via Shutterstock

Nearly one-fifth of mobile phones and one-quarter of video game consoles shipped abroad are fake, according to a report by the the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Trade in Counterfeit ICT Goods report, published ahead of the 2017 OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum this month, identified a growing trend in fake goods.

Smartphone batteries, chargers, memory cards, magnetic stripe cards, solid state drives and music players are also increasingly falling prey to counterfeiters.

On average, 6.5 per cent of global trade in ICT goods is in counterfeit products, according to analysis of 2013 customs data, that is up from 2.5 per cent of overall traded goods found to be fake in a 2016 report.

China is the primary source of fake ICT goods, and US manufacturers are the worst affected by lost revenue and erosion of brand value, the report said. Almost 43 per cent of seized fake ICT goods infringe the IP rights of US firms, followed by 25 per cent for Finnish firms and 12 per cent for Japanese firms.

Counterfeit ICT goods entail health and safety risks, service outages and loss of income for companies and governments.

The report pointed to a study of 400 fake iPhone adaptors, only three of which passed basic safety tests. It said twelve adapters were so poorly designed and constructed that they posed a risk of lethal electrocution to the user.

It estimates the global trade in counterfeit ICT goods at $143bn (£114bn) as of 2013, based on data from nearly half a million customs seizures around the world over 2011-13.

Almost two-thirds of counterfeit ICT goods are shipped by express and postal services, significantly complicating the screening and detection process.

World exports of manufactured ICT goods grew 6 per cent per year from 2001 to 2013 to USD 1.6 trillion, with China exporting almost a third of the total. ®


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