Another attempt at smuggling electronics across the country’s borders was foiled by China Customs authorities. According to information released by the General Administration of Customs, on March 16th, a man was detained at Gongbei Port Passenger Inspection Hall while attempting to cross the border with 239 Intel 13th Gen CPUs worth over $46,000. The products were wrapped around the man’s waist, abdomen, and thighs – concealed beneath loose black clothing.

This case is far from being unique since China’s import and export channels have been restricted by US government mandates and as a consequence, many scientific and governing bodies in China are forced to use consumer-based PC components for research and development purposes, including AI, medical, and military applications. Sources in China have been purchasing goods at consumer prices from e-commerce websites (such as and AliExpress).

Some of the Intel CPUs that were attempted to be smuggled across borders

The Intel Core i5-13400F CPU is considered mid-level range in the Raptor Lake family and is a popular option in the budget DIY market due to its ten cores, sixteen threads, max turbo frequency of 4.6 GHz, 20 MB of Intel Smart Cache, and a maximum TDP of 148W, characteristics that may seem interesting in terms of cost-effectiveness, especially for entry-level and budget builders.

It’s definitely not a surprise that there has been an increase in smuggling cases given the circumstances; last week, for example, the GAC reported a case where a man was caught attempting to cross the border with 84 solid-state drives hidden inside the front bumper of his electric scooter. To evade detection, smugglers are going to extreme lengths, putting themselves at risk and demonstrating the challenges faced by Customs authorities in detecting and preventing illegal activities. More information about this recent smuggling case can be found here.

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