A Chinese firm that had manufactured about 41,000 counterfeit Apple iPhones has been uncovered, leading to nine arrests.
The factory was discovered on May 14 but was revealed by Beijing’s public security bureau on Sunday, reported the BBC.
Discovered by blogger BirdAbroad, the fakes made by the company were so convincing that she said many of the staff themselves believed that they were employed by the U.S. tech firm.
The operation, started by a husband and wife team on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital of Beijing, involved ‘hundreds’ of workers repackaging second hand smartphone parts as new iPhones for export. It produced fake iPhones worth 120 million yuan (USD 19 million).
The firm was set up in January.
Beijing authorities said that they had been alerted to the factory by U.S. officials, who had seized some of the fake phones.
The arrest came amid an official Chinese clampdown on counterfeit goods, with authorities pushing firms to trademark their goods.