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Apple used Pfizer security team to root out Chinese pirates

Dave Caolo, @davidcaolo
August 31, 2011
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Apple has struggled with the sale of counterfeit iPods, iPhones and iPads in China for years. A recent WikiLeaks report notes that the company enlisted members of Pfizer's global security team to combat the industry of fakes. Why Pfizer? The answer should be obvious to anyone who's received spam email within the last few years: Pfizer's team had been tracking down counterfeit Viagra manufacturers in Asia for years.

It's been an uphill battle for Apple and other tech manufacturers, according to a source quoted by Atlantic Wire. While the Chinese government has assisted pharmaceutical companies, the source said, the same can't be said of requests made by the tech industry. Why? S/he offers one theory: "Whereas a defective pill could cause sickness or death, a shoddy iPod has less dire consequences."

Philip Elmer-Dewitt has posted the body of the memo obtained by Wikileaks. It's a compelling illustration of the thriving counterfeit market as well as Apple's efforts with Pfizer.

In this article: china, fakes, hardware, iPad, iPhone, iPod, pfizer, wikileaks
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