Why buying a 'Chinese' or 'Shanzai' tablet is likely illegal

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by xaueious, Feb 12, 2011.

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  1. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    This post is months overdue, and is a response many of you out there asking for deals on the cheapest Android tablets for the money.

    When buying from a vendor which sells shanzhai goods, know that this is illegal and can be punishable by law.

    While you are not likely to receive legal punishment, know that you have no leverage on these sellers if you want to complain to the authorities. At least know that you can be held responsible for participating illegal activity of this sort.

    Buying from a local brand ensures that you are protected, and that you are not breaking laws (none of which you would be responsible for, anyway).

    There are still advantages to buying shanzhai from Chinese sellers. In fact, it is accepted practice and common to do so in some regions of the world, such as within China. Know the risks that you are taking, and be prepared to take on any consequences that may ensue as a result of what you do.

    Do not be surprised if you are lied to, if your shipment is late, if the product arrives different than described, and if the product falls apart within a week of use.

    There is only so much we as a community can do on your behalf if you do end up with a lemon.

    Here are some more facts you need to know. Note that not all of these will apply to any given vendor or product.
    • More often then not, the products have not been approved by local authorities for safety or compliance to standards such as with the FCC, particularly products with integrated wireless components. Importing these products is illegal.
    • You are responsible for paying for any customs charges. Sellers operate on the principle of being able to avoid custom taxes to gain a larger profit margin for themselves while being able to sell at a lower price. This practice of tax evasion is smuggling, and is thereby illegal. Your shipment may be seized.
    • Sellers often promote cloned goods which are in clear violation of copyright and trademark laws.
    • Almost all products are in clear violation of the GPL, making them illegal for sale. The GPL stipulates that source code must be provided for any products distributed based on software licensed by the GPL, or the products are not supposed to be sold.
    • Google does not authorize the distribution of Google mobile applications for Android apart from products explicitly approved, and only for manufacturers that are members of the open handset alliance. Almost all of these products ship with illegal Google apps.
    • Many sellers have a habit of misrepresenting goods, and will not hesitate to list the wrong specifications, often on purpose, to mislead customers to buy a particular product. This is common practice in China, even though it is not tolerated internationally. They will use their webpages and YouTube to lie about their products, and pay people to make it appear more convincing.
    • Sellers do not comply by your local consumer protection laws. Local authorities cannot exercise punishment on on violators.
    • Shanzhai offers minimum compensation to factory workers, and you are contributing to this culture of labor exploitation. But at the same time, this is how some people manage to make a living.
    • Products may not be manufactured with any respect for environmental sustainability, such as complying by RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) or equivalent policies that have become the law in developed nations, aimed to reduce hazardous materials in electronic products.
    • Your sellers often have no control over the quality of products handed to them from the factory, and sellers often will not verify the quality of the product before shipping it to you. One production batch may be significantly better or worse than another, and firmware updates may not be compatible across different production batches.
    • Just as products are illegal to import from China, products are often illegal to return to the country of origin, which will make product returns back to the factory more difficult. You can get a company into trouble by exposing them as one that exports illegitimate goods.

    Last modified February 12, 2011.
    This information may not be representative of your local laws.
    If you have corrections to make, you can notify me or any staff members via PM.
     
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  2. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    Asus Transformer TF300, Huwaei Ideos S7-104, HSG X5A, (Past APAD IMX515, APAD RK2808, RK2818 RT7)
    Manufacturing standards of electronic components:
    RoHS

    Safety for electronic components:
    CSA (Canada, alternative to UL), CCC (China), CE (Europe), UL (USA), ETL (North America alternate to CSA and UL), C-Tick (Australia and Newzealand), KC (South Korea), MIC (Japan)

    Lithium battery specific compliances:
    MSDS, UN38.3
     
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  3. pbrauer

    pbrauer Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the great writeup!
     
  4. feverhost

    feverhost Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My Tablets: Pandigital White Novel - aPad iRobot RK2818 - Motorola Xoom 4G (Rooted JellyBean 4.1.2) - Kindle Fire - Novo Elf 7" - HP Slate 7" - Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
    Ironically enough the local news station here in San Diego just bought "Chinese" tablets for all the staff, which some are proudly showing on the news. Incidentally a local school around here also purchased "Chinese aPad's" for all teachers, and might start giving them out to students in 2012 instead of carrying around books.
     
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