Counterfeit Xiaomi smartphones and accessories valued at ₹13 lakh were seized by Delhi police on 25 November from four suppliers in Karol Bagh’s Gaffar Market, the Chinese phone company announced today in a press release.
Over 2,000 counterfeits resembling Xiaomi products were confiscated during the raid after Xiaomi filed a complaint with the local police. These include a wide range of mobile accessories, such as power banks, neckbands, travel adapters with cable, earphones and headsets. Some of the products are yet to be officially launched in India.
Xiaomi claims the police, during their interrogation, found that the four suppliers were dealing in counterfeit products for years and were selling them in retail and wholesale to their customers.
Gaffar Market is a well known hub for smartphones and accessories, however a parallel market dealing in counterfeit phones assembled locally has been in existence for years. In 2015, Delhi police had seized over 30 fake iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models along with more than 4,000 of assembling materials including spare parts.
According to an October report by India Today, the counterfeit smartphone market is also thriving in Delhi’s other major electronics hubs as well. A laptop store in Nehru Place offered to supply them 50 iPhone 6s at ₹11,000 for each unit. The actual price for iPhone 6s is ₹25,749 on Flipkart.com.
"It has many implications ranging from security threat, loss of revenue to the government, brand safety challenge for genuine OEMs and quality for consumers. Counterfeit electronics, essentially smartphones are still an open ended agenda for the government to strictly enforce regulations. Also as per my understanding flashing any IMEI or tampering with IMEI is not an offence or the regulations is very opaque." says Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst at techARC, a market research firm.
Kawoosa further points out, this is a growing menace in many countries and in some instances, refurbished market route is used to push counterfeit products through both online and offline channels.
According to estimates by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), smartphone companies may have lost €45.3 Billion in revenue due to counterfeits in 2017, with 184 million fake smartphone being sold worldwide every year.
Xiaomi has advised its customers to be more cautious and buy products only from their authorised stores and partner outlets. Customers can get the details and address of Xiaomi’s authorised partners from their India website.