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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
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Three jailed in China over iPad leaks

The design of the iPad2 was stolen from the factory where it’s made late last year and counterfeits were sold in advance of the launch of the latest version of the Apple gadget.

Image: Yasushi Kanno/AP/Press Association Images

THREE PEOPLE HAVE been jailed in China for stealing the design for the iPad2 and using it to make fakes.

The theft from a plant run by Foxconn, a contract electronics manufacturer, in Guangdong province late last year resulted in fake iPad 2s being sold in China before Apple’s official launch of the product. The Wall Street Journal reports that the head of a Chinese manufacturer paid a Foxconn employee for the information.

Rampant piracy of everything from consumer electronics to luxury handbags and apparel have caused friction between China and its trade partners, leading to billions of dollars in losses annually to intellectual property theft.

A court in Shenzhen city last week sentenced Xiao Chengsong, the legal agent of Maita Electronics, to 18 months in prison and fined him 150,000 yuan – around €16,000 – for buying the design from two Foxconn workers. Xiao allegedly paid 200,000 yuan for the iPad 2 design.

Foxconn employee Lin Kecheng, was sentenced to 14 months, while another worker identified as Hou Pengna was given a two-year sentence suspended for one year.

In 2010, Apple’s iPad, the first generation of the tablet computer, was also pirated before its official launch in China and sold as the “iPed” for only a fraction of the cost of the real product.

- Additional reporting by AP

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Emer McLysaght

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