'HiPhone 5' hits Chinese black market for just €21
The latest version of the Apple iPhone has already hit the Chinese fake market even though the real one is not due to go on sale until the end of the year.
The 'hiPhone 5' is selling for as little as 200 yuan (€21), a fraction of the price of the genuine one.
The hiPhone 5 is based on leaked images of the yet-to-be-launched iPhone 5 and is thinner with less rounded edges than the existing iPhone 4.
Western governments have repeatedly criticised China for widespread violation of intellectual property rights but pirated goods, from branded watches to bags, and computer software can be easily found in shops.
Last month, an American blogger set off a media storm after she posted pictures of an elaborate fake Apple Store in Kunming, selling genuine, if unauthorised, iPhones, Macbooks and other widely popular Apple products.
Reporters also uncovered a lookalike of the Swedish furniture giant Ikea in the southwestern Chinese city.
Apple, which is expected to roll out the latest version of the iPhone 5 smartphone within a few months, sold a record 20.34 million iPhones during the last three months, even though its newest model is over a year old.