A story I’ve meant to post about for a couple of weeks: we know pirates sometimes choose specific products to knock off, but these guys created their own entirely fictitious company, cloning NEC. Raids on 18 factories and warehouses in China and Taiwan revealed that the fake NEC clone had established links to more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and was controlled by entities in Japan and Taiwan. Remarkably, the crooks had not only chosen to clone about 50 of NEC’s existing products, but had gone so far as to design their own new ones, which were described in the article as “generally good quality”.

The article reports that even some of the factories were themselves taken in, believing they were manufacturing products for the real NEC, having been given bogus paperwork. As is often the case in these kind of scams, the real NEC became aware once it started receiving complaints and claims on warranties for products it had not manufactured and, in some cases, did not even sell. Apparently, the goods were packaged in cloned but authentic-looking NEC packaging sufficient to fool consumers.