One in five mobile phones and one in four video game consoles shipped internationally are fake, according to an OECD report.
The Trade in Counterfeit ICT Goods report stated that trade in counterfeit IT and communications hardware weighs on consumers, manufacturers, and public finances.
Smartphone batteries, chargers, memory cards, magnetic stripe cards, solid state drives, and music players are also increasingly falling prey to counterfeiters.
On average, 6.5% of global trade in ICT goods is in counterfeit products – well above the 2.5% of overall traded goods found to be fake in a 2016 report.
Counterfeit ICT goods entail health and safety risks, service outages, and loss of income for companies and governments.
China is the primary source of fake ICT goods, and US manufacturers are the most hit by lost revenue and erosion of brand value.
Almost 43% of seized fake ICT goods infringe the IP rights of US firms, followed by 25% for Finnish firms, and 12% for Japanese firms.
In an industry that relies heavily on intellectual property rights, ICT counterfeiting preys on consumers’ trust in brands, stated the report.
Counterfeit phones can contain more hazardous substances like lead and cadmium than genuine ones, while fake phone chargers can lead to fires and electric shocks.
Fake intermediary ICT devices and components, including transistors, printed circuits, and radio masts are also being shipped.
The report estimates the value of trade in counterfeit ICT goods at $143 billion as of 2013.
Almost two-thirds of counterfeit ICT goods are shipped by express and postal services, complicating the screening and detection process.