The most asked question on StartBuyingInChina is:

Where can I find cheap iPhones, iPads, Nikes?

The most given answer is:

You cannot!

But this is the simple answer. Today I like to give some nuances.

4 different ways to buy a Non Chinese Brands in China.

  1. You can buy original products but for a high price

Although most non-Chinese brands are made in China, this doesn’t mean you can buy them in China for a low price.

According to Bloomberg News and the Washington Post the iPhone 6 was sold for insane amounts of money in Hong Kong, when the iPhone 6 was released in September 2014. Prices up to $ 1,500 and even up to $ 3,000 on the black market.

The retail price of an iPhone 6 is 5,288 Yuan ($864) at the Apple Store in China.

  1. You can buy remakes, but they are fake

If you find non-Chinese brands in a legitimate shop, it is probably fake. Even if they say it is original.

Most of the time the copies have a slightly different brand name or product name to avoid infringement with the original trademarks names. For example ‘Phone i6’ in stead of ‘iPhone 6’. Or OEOTS by Dr Dre in stead of BEATS by Dr Dre.

It is possible that you find 100% clones on legitimate sites. To avoid the infringement because of the logos and brand, the logos and names are often covered. For example this iPhone 5 clone.

  1. You can buy refurbished original products for a lower price

Refurbished items are second hand items and sold as good as new. These items might work very well, but I’m not fond of it. You don’t know why the previous owner got rid of it. There might be some malfunctions. Check this blog about refurbished products.

  1. You think you can buy originals for low prices

I hope you do not fall for this any more. You will be scammed. You will loose your money and will never get the product. If you still hesitate, check this blog.

Examples of non-Chinese brands in Chinese shops

iPhone 6


Buying Non-Chinese brands in China - iPhone 6

When you check AliExpress for the iPhone 6, you will find some original iPhones. The prices $ 997 up to $ 1471. This is even for western countries a high price!

Buying Non-Chinese brands in China - Phone i6

If you look for Phone i6, a fake name for the iPhone 6, you will find the android clones of the iPhone. Price range from 138 to 219 dollar for these clones.


Buying Non-Chinese brands in China - Nike

On AliExpress you’ll find Nike shoes. The shop says these are originals. I’m can’t checked it with the given photos. The price is around 135 US dollar.

Buying Non-Chinese brands in China - nike euro

But when you compare the price with the original shoes in Europe, you’ll see the price is almost the same. 115 Euro is about 140 US dollar. For this price difference I wouldn’t risk the change of a getting a fake product.

Beats by Dr. Dre





Till November 2014 it was easy to find clones for the Beats headphones by Dr Dre. I think Apple has started an offensive to get rid of the counterfeit products.

Currently it is more difficult to find them. If you do find them, look at the differences in the name or the logo. For example Beats if written as Oeats.

I’m curious.

Have you ever bought some products from China that were sold as original but were fake? What was it?

Let’s start a discussion. Don’t let this conversation only be one way. Please write your answer in the comment box below.

Don’t forget to like this article and share it with your friends! Use the buttons on the side.

I wish you a great week!



Founder of StartBuyingInChina. It all started as an hobby. I liked to categorize the few Chinese stores I knew. After 6 years over 150 blogs were published. I created a wonderful online course about Safe buying online in China, and served over 1.000.000 people. Thank you for being here!

    21 replies to "Buying Non-Chinese Brands in China"

    • Bob

      I already received my camera’s… ( see my post 4 december )

      They are new and original, and they are working SUPERB.

      I spend about EURO 1000,- monthly ( for reselling ) on Aliexpress, and it always works great.

      I pay with Paypal, and I have no problems.

      • Boris

        hi Bob, great to hear.
        We should talk someday in Dutch.

        • Bob

          That is a great idea!
          Sounds good to me!

          You have my email, otherwise by Skype, you can reach me via “bobenxxxxxxx” from monday till friday from 09.00 till 12.00 am.

    • vojko

      If I buy Phone i6, can be confiscated at the border?
      It is fake but has different name.

      • Boris

        Good question!!
        It all depends on your countries customs. Counterfeit is prohibited in most countries. According to the International Trademark Association counterfeit is: Counterfeiting is the practice of manufacturing goods, often of inferior quality, and selling them under a brand name without the brand owner’s authorization.
        In your case it is sold under a different name. So it is not considered as counterfeit and should pass your customs. To be sure check the regulations in your country.

    • D

      I recently bought a pair of united nude shoes on AliExpress. Normaly they cost 280 euro and now I got them for 60. I wasn’t sure if i could trust it but I took the gamble because 60 for real leather shoes is still not very expensive. The seller told me they where cheap because it was a spring 2012 model and that is right. But if they are fake, its a really good remake because all the details are right. I’m happy I bought them but still a part of me is wondering if they are real.

      • Boris

        I can’t tell. But if you are happy with them and the quality is fine, who bothers?
        Thanks for sharing!

    • Kwaku

      Come to Ghana and see for yourself. Here buyers focus on cheap items and not quality. Most can’t tell the difference between quality and counterfeit. Cheap price wins. The market is full of Cheap Chinese products.

      • Boris

        That’s interesting to know. How much do people spend on average on their smart phones? Thanks

    • John

      I did shopping for Huawei Ascend P7,others are selling it with a low price of $170.Is that the real price for Original Huawei P7?

      • Boris

        Hi John, Google can be your friend. The regular price is around $350. Where did you buy it, what is the stores name?

    • Joe

      Like Joan said above: “Buying brand items from China was never my intention.”
      Moreover, what Boris has not explained (and he should) is that a fake will usually use a product name that is DIFFERENT from the brand name to avoid infringing the trademarks of the BRAND company (what Boris calls the “Real”). For example, “Beats” and “iPhone6” are trademarked names of the brand companies Dr. Dre and Apple. In contrast, the fake will use a different product name like “Oeots” and “Phone i6” to try to avoid infringing the trademarks of these brand name companies. Although a trademark lawsuit is a relatively easy and inexpensive lawsuit for the Brand Company, it can be a real killer for the manufacturer of the fake product if the fake products are confiscated at customs or pulled off the store shelves.

      As a separate note, I would agree with Boris that both sneakers are probably licensed from Nike, a Brand Company, because the manufacturer of the fake product would have to be incredibly stupid to knock off the most famous trademark in the world (i.e. the Nike “swoosh”) and think that Nike would not being suing them the next day.

      • Boris

        Hi Joe, You’are right about using fake brand names to avoid infringement of the trademarks. But 100% copies do exist too. Check this one.
        So both exists. I’ve update the blog to give more clarity.
        Thanks, Boris

    • Bob

      I have ordered 2 Hikvision security camera’s for about 80 euro’s each, 3 weeks ago.
      On Dutch webshops they ask from 200 euro to 300 euro.
      On Ebay from 150 euro.
      According to track and trace, they arrive in 1 week.
      The shop on Aliexpress says they are 100% original and new.
      I payed with Paypal for buyer protection.

      I write a short unboxing review about the package when i receive it.

      • Boris

        Ik ben zeer benieuwd Bob, laat het ons weten!! (I’m curious Bob, please let us know!)

    • Joan

      Buying brand items from China was never my intention, because the possibility of getting fake items is high. Nobody is going to sell you original things for half of the price. Interesting article, thanks.

      • Boris

        Nobody with good intentions is selling you originals for half the price….. But there are many fraudulent shops that pretend to do this. And if there is supply there must be demand also…. (Say’s law and Keynes)
        You’re welcome!

    • andrea reid

      I have never brought branded goods from China, some people dont care if there fake
      as its the brandname their buying not the actual item, if it looks excatly the same people will buy fake goods.

      • Boris

        Yes you are right Andrea. Some people only go for the looks but not the specs.

    • Corne

      i didn’t know an iphone was so expensive in China. I hoped to buy one one day. Need to rethink that.

      • Boris

        Glad you know now, Corne.

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