So, what if you *do* buy transistors from China


Whenever you search for keywords “transistor + China”, the following Youtube will always come to the top of the search

On his Youtube description,

the writer says, “They say you should never buy generic transistors from China. I also say you shouldn’t buy cheap generic transistors from China if you can help it…

The problem with semiconductors purchased from no-name Chinese vendors on eBay, Aliexpress, etc is that there is absolutely no information or guarantees about the supply chain, and as stated in the video, the Chinese sellers operating out of their basements take no precautions about ESD protection or the like.”

On his Youtube video,

the speaker was testing a bunch of transistors 2SA1023 bought from China. The audience is expected to see these faked transistors will fail to meet with the specifications.

The speaker used a multimeter to check if the transistor is basically of two diodes, and they are. Then, he checked the Hfe and see if it fell in the specified range 120-240. He found out all of them have good Hfe and they are indeed PNP transistors.

In this conclusion,

he said that he could have used a curve tracer to check if it is a genuine part. He said that they are good enough to be used to replace parts in his Dell power supply. However, he does not recommend that they are used as an amplifier because it may create noise and oscillation.

Also, it is interesting to read other comments on this video

Comments on this video:

Godfrey Poon 2 years ago
BJTs don’t need anti-static precautions.

Cyrille Bournival 2 years ago

I think I received fake D882 and B772 TO-126 transistors from eBay. My problem is the Vce(sat) when switching on a car lightbulb. The datasheet says it should be between 0.4v and 0.7v maximum since the measured current is 1.6 Amps. The measured voltage at the emitter-collector pins is 1.17v whereas the original transistor, which I consider genuine shows 0.16v!!

The writer’s comment: With Vce of 1.17V, the driving circuit is most likely not properly design to drive the transistor into saturated.


There is a lot of prejudice against the products made from China. Transistors and diodes are very low-end products already made from China for more than half a century now.

There is obviously a big price difference between buying from a famous component distributor and from China.

Would you rather buy from for 2N3904 at US$ 3.32 per 100 pcs or buy from digit-key for US$ 21.0?

The author was the global business manager of the Discrete division of National Semiconductor in Silicon Valley in the late 80’s. He believes that transistors and diodes manufactured from China are of high quality and performance.

Don’t buy foreign brands from China as they may be counterfeit. Simply buy the local Chinese brands, please visit or

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