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China's Mobile Phoney Mecca

4:45 AM -- One out of five mobiles in the world is counterfeit, built by manufacturers using alternative parts to mimic a popular brand. About 80 percent of the fakes come from Shenzhen, China.

As smartphones become popular, the Chinese mobile phone knock-off market thrives, too. China is the world's largest mobile market but it is also price sensitive and fragmented by a number of 2G and 3G protocols. Since the market is made up of so many players, large manufacturers here often breed smaller manufacturing spin-offs that keep the knock-off market booming. (See 3G & Android Shape China's Mobile Market.)

UBM TechInsights says these knock-offs will probably be a part of the Chinese market for some time, with some of their manufacturers having even made the leap from grey market to legitimate brand names.

This week, Chinese broadcaster Television Broadcasts Limited took a really interesting two-part look at the market for "mobile phoneys" -- or “Shanzhai” knock-off phones -- in China. Check out the videos:





— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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