I was disturbed when I read the article that Intel was opening up a fabrication plant in China. Not because of the plant opening itself, but I was wondering how long it would be before counterfeit Intel chips would be hitting the market place. Unfortunately China has not been playing well with others. One only needs to read about the dog food crisis and also the toys being painted with lead based paints to make one wonder about the quality of the products coming from China.

In a recent article over at usedcisco.com, they just did a great article on counterfeit Cisco products that have been flooding into the US. And yes, the country of origin has been China. What is most unfortunate is that the government of China may be contributing to the flood of counterfeit parts. If you take a look at some of the photo’s on the usedciso.com site, they look almost like the originals.

From its site:

The relaxed attitude by China towards intellectual-property rights and often state-sanctioned piracy and counterfeiting facilities has become increasingly worrisome. The inability to discern between authentic and counterfeit products is a narrowing margin at best. Sophisticated counterfeit products have placed a real threat on the economy, specifically for secondary market electronic equipment dealers.

A perfect example is counterfeit Cisco equipment, collectively referred to in the industry as “Chisco” (counterfeit Cisco equipment originating in China). These high-tech and high-priced networking appliances are being counterfeited through Chinese channels at an alarming rate.

According to a white paper by AGMA and consulting company KPMG, counterfeit products account for nearly 10% of the overall IT products market. That’s $100 billion in fake memory sticks, drives, monitors, networking gear and other IT products floating around. “The vast majority is still being purchased from gray market, uncertified resellers that unload their goods on eBay at extremely low prices,” said Scott Augenbaum, supervisory special agent for the FBI Cybercrime Fraud unit in Washington, D.C.

Network managers have grown aware of the “Chisco” problem and have grown fearful of acquiring counterfeit network hardware. Their company’s networks cannot afford to fail on account of a faulty switch or router. Worse, their jobs could be compromised as a result of a poor purchasing decision.

These counterfeit parts floating around are estimated at $100 Billion.

So what do you think? Should we fear the products coming from China as being inferior? Will the quality of the Intel chips suffer when the made in China label is affixed to their processors?

Comments welcome.

Used Cisco site is here.

[tags]cisco, counterfeit, china, parts[/tags]