Chinese police recently raided a graphics card ring that engaged in deceptive behavior, arresting 22 people and seizing millions of dollars worth of goods. The Bincheng Police department posted details and images of the raid on social media, as was spotted by ITHome and VideoCardz. Seven of those 22 people were detained. The police report says that the value of the graphics cards and related goods seized exceeded 15 million Chinese Yuan (just over $2 million USD).
This operation specialized in was taking in old, second-hand graphics cards, then going through a process including cleaning and re-packaging to eventually re-sell them as new.
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The group had a relatively sophisticated operation. It had people dedicated to buying up used graphics cards. Once cards had been received there were people who would clean and test the components. Next in line were people responsible for repackaging and labeling of the old cards. Last in line were a sales team, distributing the wares.
The group could have potentially been legitimate without the deliberately misleading repackaging and relabeling step of their production process. That would have had a big impact on their potential profits, sure, but they wouldn’t now be going to prison.
The buying of used graphics cards has become riskier in the wake of cryptocurrency mania. Many still relatively modern and powerful graphics cards are in circulation which may have spent time trying to mine. It may seem like a long time ago, but mining Ethereum was still possible less than a year ago
We have previously reported on used mining graphics cards being much more prone to issues than new stock. Even the resellers don’t seem to respect them, sometimes jet washing them or selling them by the kilo in the streets. Just as importantly, as with many used items not backed by a manufacturer, buyers won’t get the warranty cover from the associated brand, or as promised on the renewed packaging.