I guess this takes the phrase “Corporate Theft” to new levels… apparently a group spread across Asia has, for years, been operating a shadow NEC. Beyond just copying authentic NEC products, they actually developed their own original ones. The details aren’t too prevalent in the article, but it seems that this has been done by some clandestine group providing fake licenses to otherwise legit manufacturers, to produce NEC products. And they emphasis the difficulties that creates; it’s tricky to fault a company for producing products it thought – as would any reasonable person – it had the legal right to. Especially given the scope of the operation – over 50 manufacturers involved, with the counterfeit products finding their way as far west as Africa and Europe.
This reminds me of what Bobo was saying the other day, regarding shoplifting. Where she works at Sunglass Hut in Dandenong they have things stolen all the time. And Rob, actually, noted that he has the same scale of issue at Dick Smith (in Greensborough). But beyond that, Bobo was saying that some clothing stores in the big shopping centres (Southland or somesuch) have actually been hit especially hard, with thieves making off not with one or two items but entire ranges. Ultimately, she says, they appear again in dodgy markets in Dandenong, Springvale and such areas. Not to put too much of a racial profile on it, or anything. But as Bobo says, she’s allowed to be racist, because she’s… well, HongKongese, or whatever. Still Chinese? Dunno. It’s a cover anyway; she’s spent all of what, four years in Hong Kong? Pfft.
It’s funny how every story I ever hear of manufacturers and distributors in Asia, ultimately involves piracy, dodginess, deception and/or outright theft. Well, actually, it’s not funny. Despite my views on piracy in terms of immaterial cultural items (music, movies, etc), piracy for a profit is definitely immoral. And it screws over the customers, too. Case in point.