Famous Chinese tech company Xiaomi today shared a piece of shocking news where four suppliers were held for selling counterfeit Xiaomi branded products in Gaffar Market, New Delhi.
Upon receiving the information about the illicit trade, the company filed a complaint with the local police, and a raid was conducted on November 25th, where the police officers seized more than two thousand fake Xiaomi products worth Rs 13 lacs. The counterfeit products included Mi Powerbanks, Mi Neckbands, Mi Travel Adaptor with Cable, Mi Earphone Basic with Mic, Mi Wireless Headsets, Redmi Air Dots, Mi 2-in-1 USB Cable, etc.
Following the investigation, police found out that the suppliers have been selling the product clones for years now, in both wholesale and retail.
What are counterfeits and how to identify them?
It's not the first time we've heard about counterfeit products. Remember the iPhone clones that caught everyone's attention a few years ago?
Counterfeits aren't limited to gadgets; in fact, it ranges from clothes, shoes, watches, cosmetics and even toys. These products attract thousands of those who cannot afford the original but still want the brand name, but many are fooled into the trade too. While Xiaomi's raid was in the offline market, social media is also a huge contributor to promoting and selling counterfeits. In fact, it is a much safer way to peddle fake goods as scammers can create infinite bogus profiles with a lower risk of getting caught.
Earlier this year, ASPA President Nakul Pasricha told PTI, "at present counterfeiting causes around Rs 1.05 lakh crore losses to India per annum. If counterfeiting is curbed by 50 percent through proper implementation of authentication solutions, enforcement, awareness, and monitoring, it can save more than Rs 50,000 crore per annum".
There is a parallel industry that sells knockoffs where some customers are aware of the fact, and some fall prey to the imitations as these products can sometimes be hard to differentiate.
Don't forget that all the original products pass through a few certifications and safety tests for a reason. These products don't just hurt the brand's business but are also a significant threat to consumer's health, safety, and data security.
However, if you are looking to buy a Xiaomi product, here's what you should to identify counterfeit products:
- Check for the security code on the product and verify it on mi.com to check authenticity. Note that not all Xiaomi products have a security code.
- Check the quality of packaging and retail box extensively as counterfeits in most cases do not match the original packing. Remember, you'll have to pay attention to small details like the Mi logo, fonts, box quality, and type.
- Counterfeit products like Mi Band cannot be paired with the Mi Fit app. Always check for compatibility.
- Original batteries will carry a sign stating it to be Li-Poly batteries – while signs like Li-ion mean that they are not Xiaomi's.
- Elements like build material, cable quality, and other accessories should be checked. The fake ones are usually of poor quality, and the finish isn't up to the standards.
- Lastly, understand that it's only the brand authorized stores or the partner outlets that can give you the best prices for an original product. DO NOT fall for a cheaper option from an unauthorized source.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Sudhanshu Singh have been working in tech journalism as a reporter, writer, editor, and reviewer for over 5 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging across categories and have also written opinions, guides, feature articles, news, and analysis. Ditching the norm of armchair journalism in tech media, Sudhanshu dug deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape.
His areas of expertise along with writing and editing include content strategy, daily operations, product and team management.