The white BMW Mr. Liu drives around this humid coastal city in southern China may be real, but the spiffy little black smart phone he carries with him is definitely fake.
"But it has Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, FM radio, a digital video camera, hundreds of games, even a voice recorder," says Liu. "And I invested over $500,000 to make it."
Liu, a 31-year-old who studied fine arts in college and designs cigarette cartons on the side, is one of countless thousands here who've earned big bucks manufacturing "gray market" mobile phones, millions of which are not only being sold across China but also exported to dozens of developing countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and other regions around the world. Read full article »