Counterfeit Electronics

News and statistics about fake technology products and fake electronic goods. Data about the counterfeit electronics are collected from criminal justice programs, security agencies, safety officials and other public information sources.

Counterfeit electronic chips and semiconductors causes losses of up to $169 Billion a year to the electronic industry, according to a report by IHS.

Source:  Larry Dignan, “Counterfeit chips: A $169 billion tech supply chain headache,” ZDNet, Between the Lines, April 4, 2012.

In 2011, there were a reported 1,363 separate incidents in the electronics manufacturing industry of counterfeit parts entering the supply chain around the world. The number of counterfeit parts incidents was higher than the reported 324 in 2009.

Source:  Rachel King, “Reports of counterfeit parts have quadrupled since 2009,” ZDNet, February 15, 2012.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized 24,792 items of counterfeit goods during the Fiscal 2011 year. The value of the counterfeit goods was worth $178.9 Million.

The number of fake goods seized in FY2011 was higher than the 19,959 counterfeit goods seized in FY2010.

The highest number of counterfeit goods that was seized by officials was counterfeit electronic devices, with a majority of those devices being counterfeit cell phones.

$124.7 Million of the counterfeits originated from China, representing 62 percent of the total value.

Source: John P. Mello Jr., “Feds Seize $179M in Counterfeit Goods in 2011,” PC World, January 9, 2012.


There are an estimated 70,000 counterfeit mobile phones in the United Arab Emirates out of a total of 11 million legitimate mobile phones.

Source: Reuters, “UAE vows to crackdown on counterfeit phones,” Arabian Business, November 20, 2011.

In 2011, the rate of counterfeit Nokia phones in Nigeria was reported to be 4 percent.

Source: Zakariyya Adaramola, “Counterfeit Phones Reduce to Four Percent in the Country – Nokia,” All Africa, November 14, 2011.

A United States Senate investigation in 2011 found about 1,800 incidents of counterfeit electronic parts being sold to the U.S. military. The incidents involved over 1 million counterfeit parts.70 percent of the counterfeit items were traced back to China.

The counterfeit parts were used on aircraft like the Air Force’s C-17 transport airplane and the CH-46 helicopter, as well as weapons systems such as the Army’s Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.

Source: Associated Press, “Lawmakers: Counterfeit electronics flood Pentagon supply,” USA Today, November 7, 2011.

The sales of counterfeit products in Indonesia causes tax losses of up to $4.8 Billion (43.2 Trillion Indonesian Rupiahs) in 2010.

The following is the percentage of counterfeit goods that make up all sales in that category:

Product                     Counterfeit Percentage

Leather products              35.7

Software                             34.1

Automotive Parts             16.8

Electronic goods              13.7

Cigarettes                          11.5

Beverages                          8.9

Pesticides                          7.7

Cosmetics                          6.4

Drugs                                  3.5

Source: “Fake products cost RI Rp 43.2t in lost taxes,” Jakarta Post, November 5, 2011.

Brand protection firm MarkMonitor reported finding over 23,000 listings of counterfeit tablets for sale across the Internet in one single day in July 2011.

75 percent of the counterfeits were made and shipped from Asia.

Source: Josh Lowensohn, “Tablet knockoffs running rampant, brand firm says,” CNET, November 1, 2011.

A counterfeit version of the iPhone 4 costs $140 (3 Million Vietnamese Dong) in Vietnam. An authentic version of the phone costs $670 (4 Million Vietnamese Dong).

The counterfeit phones are made in Thailand and are smuggled into Vietnam through Cambodia.

Source: “Flood of smuggling hits Mekong Delta,” Viet Nam News, October 11, 2011.

IT equipment and parts are the most counterfeited product in Tanzania, according to officials. Between May 2005 and June 2011, authorities seized  $1.83 Million worth of counterfeit IT products.

In the first 8 months of 2011, over 7,000 counterfeit cartridges and other equipments were seized within the country.

Source: “Hewlett-Packard steps up war against counterfeits,” East African, October 2, 2011.