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Fake Apple stores closed in Chinese city

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Jul 2011 12:57 User comments (3)

Fake Apple stores closed in Chinese city Officials act on bogus Apple stores following exposure by blogger.
Chinese officials in Kunming City have moved to shut down a number of retail stores that were designed to look exactly like Apple stores. The BirdAbroad blog (edited by an American woman living in China) exposed the elaborate fake stores in the city, prompting trade officials to investigate.

In total, five stores were found to be posing as Apple retail outlets. Of the five, two have so far been shut down because their owners lacked a business license. The blogger interviewed staff at one of the stores, who were utterly convinced that they worked for Apple Inc.

The stores were described by the blogger as the "best ripoff stores we had ever seen," copying key elements from Apple's chain, including a winding staircase, upstairs seating areas and even similar t-shirts on the staff along with the ID lanyards.

What exposed the phony nature of the stores however was the shoddy construction on closer inspection, and the fact that the shop front had the words "Apple Store" on them. "Apple never writes 'Apple Store' on its signs - it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit," wrote BirdAbroad.

The store where the blogger interviewed staff has not been shutdown, as it was found to be selling genuine products. Where the products came from is unknown, but the grey market is the most likely suspect. Apple Stores in China are only located in Beijing and Shanghai, and none of the stores exposed by the bloggers are Apple resellers.

Tags: China Apple
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3 user comments

128.7.2011 23:12


Of the five, two have so far been shut down because their owners lacked a business license.

So...not only is it legal to operate a clone of a store, but it is also possible to get a business license to do so? I wonder, do you need an additional license for fraud, or is that built into the basic business license?

330.7.2011 2:37

This isn't suprising at all since China is probably the biggest supplier of grey market, and cheap knock-off items. Nice link Jeffrey_P

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

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