BEIJING — Police in Beijing have seized an electronics factory that was used to manufacture more than 41,000 fake Apple iPhones over the past seven months.
Investigators raided the factory on May 14, arresting nine people, including a couple who owned the factory, according to a statement released by the Beijing Public Security Bureau.
Police estimated that the 41,000 counterfeit Apple iPhones made at the factory since January are worth nearly $20 million.
Hundreds of workers at the factory, which is located in a suburb of Beijing, have produced fake smartphones on six assembly lines since 2011, according to police.
The knockoffs were made with discarded cellphone logic boards from abroad, and accessories purchased from Shenzhen, the center of China’s electronics manufacturing industry. Completed smartphones were then sold overseas. Police confiscated more than 1,400 fake phones during the raid.
U.S. authorities discovered fake phones in May, which led Chinese authorities to launch the investigation. Beijing police told state media this is the largest case involving international trademarks in the department’s history.
Since April, Beijing police have arrested more than 95 people involved in 55 intellectual property rights cases, according to a police statement posted on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.