Two men have been sentenced to a year in prison, charged with selling counterfeit Razer products online in China. The pair have also been fined, twice, as they must pay the court as well as the hardware company.
Razer worked closely with Shanghai police to bust a counterfeiting ring, accused of producing thousands of imitation products. Company co-founder Min-Liang Tan explains:
Counterfeit goods put a huge toll on innovation and growth across many industries worldwide. By investing in bringing down these operations, Razer hopes to set an example that this kind of criminal activity will not be tolerated.
Haikui Lin and Ping Gong must pay Razer 150,000RMB (AU$30,650) for the privilege of copying their hardware – as well as 140,000RMB (AU$28,600) to the courts.
That’s just a drop in the bucket, however – the International Criminal Court estimates the cost of counterfeit goods as being up to US$125 billion in developed countries alone (keeping in mind that cheap counterfeit goods are much more popular in less-developed locations), taking money from both tax revenue and additional welfare spending. Worse than that? More than 2.5 million jobs are lost each year thanks to people buying and selling cheap rip-offs instead of the real deal.
It’s important to check your new hardware carefully – some counterfeit items can be very close to the original, but if something doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel right, or just seems wrong somehow, you’re better off not buying it, no matter how great the price might be.