16 August 2005 As many as one in 10 IT products sold could be fake according to a new report from auditing group KPMG.
The most common components found to be fake were network switches, hard disk drives, ink supplies and computer memory components.
Executives at KPMG warned that this placed business users at risk, as they may be unaware that they had purchased pirated goods. The black markets products are typically of lower quality.
KPMG estimated that the market for pirated goods was worth $100 billion a year, much of it produced in China.
Counterfeit products are usually sold over the Internet, but many also find there way into legitimate distribution channels.
Technology vendors have long been aware of the problem of software piracy, but the growing availability of technical expertise in areas such as China has contributed to the increasing level of hardware piracy, according to the KPMG report.
“No other area comes close to what the market is in China. It is clearly the biggest counterfeiting market for IT,” Gary Matuszak, chairman of KPMG’s electronics, software and services unit told The Financial Times.