Apple's Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts Detailed in WikiLeaks Cables
Usually WikiLeaks cables' contain embarrassing political speak between our elected officials and their international counterparts. However, a recent leak detailed Apple's efforts to combat counterfeit products in China.
According to the electronic memo from the Beijing embassy dated September 2008, Apple formed a team in March 2008 to crack down on the massive number of knockoff iPods and iPhones (there was no iPad at that time). Oddly enough, members of the team were recruited from Pfizer's anti piracy team after they were successful in cracking down on counterfeit Viagra products (I'll leave the clever puns to the comments).
The timing of this leak couldn't be more apt as Apple is currently dealing with a widespread fake Apple Store problem in China. What was thought originally to be an isolated and rather humorous incident, turned out to be a rather large problem after 20 more fake stores were found.
The cables also detail China's role in smuggling parts out of the country to supply India with counterfeit Apple products. The cables detail Apple's enforcement process. First Apple's counterfeit team would crack down on retailers and street vendors selling the products before working with police to raid manufacturing facilities and finally move on to online resellers.
The cooperation between Chinese authorities and technology companies, including Apple, is limited to say the least. Where the pharmaceutical companies found help, Apple and other tech companies are finding cold shoulders. Apparently pills that could possibly kill are of a greater importance than a shoddily made iPhone or iPod replica.