Apple's efforts to counteract counterfeit gadgets in the east are being hampered by local authorities, according to a report released by Wikileaks. Despite the manpower Apple has dedicated to a security team for specifically dealing with the issue, Chinese officials remain unconvinced that the situation is of high importance. According to a CNN report, China has also refused Apple's requests to investigate facilities it believes are involved in the trade.
The attitude contradicts the mood during previous crackdowns. The security team itself is made up of former Pfizer employees, a pharmaceutical company tackling fake Viagra distribution. In the case of medicine, people's health is at risk from fake drugs, so tackling the issue was a top priority. Apple has a weaker defense here, as it's hard to argue that fake products affect the public in such a direct way. However, Apple argues, counterfeit gadgets are more susceptible to battery explosions, and the lost tax revenue would be bad for a healthy economy.
Although Wikileaks is known for releasing classified documents, the reports in question weren't technically classified. Beijing authorities merely stated that internet distribution was not advisable, dubbing the papers as "sensitive". An April 2009 cable paints more of a picture on China's relationship with Apple, when the government refused to look into a facility stating that it would endanger local jobs. Chinese officials also refused to raid a shop in Guangdong, out of fear that it would scare off potential shoppers.