Industry, Governments Battle Computer Part Counterfeiting

by Joe Longo, on January 30, 2017

While the global supply chain has made accessing affordable hardware easier than ever before, it has also led to higher levels of counterfeiting.

PC users and large-scale enterprises depend on reliable computer hardware. Unfortunately, while the global supply chain model has made accessing affordable hardware easier than ever before, it has also led to higher levels of counterfeiting.

Across the world - especially in developing countries, where many computer components are made - there are markets that move large amounts of counterfeit computer components. The Semiconductor Industry Association believes that electronics counterfeiting costs businesses $7.5 billion in annual revenue. But the existence of these operations doesn't just threaten the profits of legitimate computer makers. It also threatens consumers. A counterfeit part may not function properly, leading to electrical damage to a system and possible fire hazards. It could also raise security concerns.

For more on this download our paper on "Counterfeiting - The Rising Threat to  Electronics Manufacturers." 

The U.S. government has an incentive to crack down on counterfeiting, as it is a large purchaser of computer components. In particular, all branches of the military depend on functional machines, ranging from personal computers to advanced jet fighter components. 

But various industries have also stepped up their own anti-counterfeiting efforts. Securing Industry reported that online retailer Alibaba has used big data to identify and lead law enforcement toward more than 400 counterfeiting rings. Known as Operation Cloud Sword, the joint operation between Alibaba and the Chinese government relied on advanced track-and-trace technology to identify the sources of fake products.

An Enterprise Labeling Solution is crucial for industries seeking to stop counterfeiting. By adding easily traceable barcodes to packaging, companies can track their products throughout the supply chain and ensure legitimacy. This will, in turn, make it easier for customers to spot fakes that do not contain this labeling.

Here's more information on computer labeling.