BEIJING police have busted a factory that produced more than 41,000 fake iPhones worth as much as $19 million, including some that were sold in the United States.
Nine suspects were arrested in the counterfeiting operation including a married couple that ran the illegal operation, authorities said.
Police seized 1,400 handsets and large quantities of accessories during the raid.
Beijing police said their investigation followed a tip-off from US authorities who seized some of the fake devices.
Apple is one of the most popular brands in China, where authorities have stepped up efforts in recent years to dispel the country’s reputation for turning out counterfeit goods.
Officials have taken stiffer action to enforce intellectual property rights, pushed firms to apply for trademarks and patents and cracked down on fakes.
Police shut down the factory, which ran under the guise of a gadget maintenance shop on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital.
The details were revealed in a social media posting on Sunday by the public security bureau in Beijing.
The group, headed by a 43-year-old man, surnamed Yu, and his 40-year-old wife, surnamed Xie, both from the southern hardware manufacturing city of Shenzhen, allegedly set up the Beijing factory with six assembly lines in January, the bureau said.
They hired “hundreds” of workers to repackage second-hand smartphone components as iPhones for export, it added.