Smugglers stop technology from being smuggled into China • The Register

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a few months away – circle September 19th on your calendars, dears! – but register News of Chinese technology smuggling has been uncovered, suggesting a piracy-like approach to imports.

An incident reported by the Chinese media my driverwhich saw Chinese customs authorities notice a man in ill-fitting black clothing trying to pass through Gongbei Port – the point of entry from Macau to China.

Macau is a former Portuguese colony that has since returned to Chinese control under the “one country, two systems” plan, which also applies to Hong Kong. It is very convenient to go from Hong Kong to Macau, and then just walk through the Gongbei Port.

Customs asked the man in black to explain his appearance, and found 239 CPUs wrapped around his abdomen and legs.

my driver The CPU was identified as a 13th Gen Intel Core i5s, model i5-13400F. This is a ten-core 2.5GHz machine with six performance cores, plus four efficiency core trundlers, aimed at desktop computers.

Chinese customs photo of smugglers wearing Intel CPUs – click to enlarge

Somewhat oddly, the Chinese outlet shared benchmark results for the chip.

register Leaning more toward quantitative crimes: China imposes a 13% tariff on most imports, and Intel lists CPUs for $196 in quantities of at least 1,000. So the importer is trying to evade at least $6,000 in taxes on the $46,800 worth of CPUs he strapped to his body.

The case is apparently under further investigation. register Waiting with interest for the man’s defense: “Look, I was just messing around with some duct tape and some Core i5s, and next thing you know I’m crossing the border with dozens of strapped-to-body…”

The Hong Kong government yesterday reported a wider technology smuggling operation involving the seizure of 508,000 items, including CPUs, memory, hard drives, other components and laptops.

The Territory intercepted a truck attempting to pass through Man Kam To Control Point in the direction of China.

“After inspection, it was found that the batch of suspected smuggled electronic products and electronic components were hidden behind a batch of correctly declared goods in the container,” the Hong Kong authorities said.

China has no shortage of tech products – it’s often referred to as the world’s factory. Sanctions make it harder for some products to cross the border into China, and Macau has been identified as a way to circumvent the bans — a loophole China has previously encouraged to exploit.

Neither report identified the smugglers as sanctions-busters, so the non-masterminds who managed to get caught at the border were probably just criminals or mules with little time. And, like many of these people, they discovered that their best plans weren’t good enough. ®

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