After the international kerfuffle over the discovery of China’s first fake Apple Store last month, Jobs and Co. can’t have been overjoyed at the uncovering of a further 22 knock-off Apple Stores in the Chinese city of Kunming yesterday.
The shops, which trade in real-but-grey-market Apple products, use all the glowing Apple logos and publicity images you’d expect to find in a bona fide Apple Store, and even employ their own teams of Apple staffers who reportedly believe they are legitimately working for Apple China. However, Apple denies all dealings with them, and the shops’ locations are not listed on the Apple website.
China’s Administration for Industry and Commerce has been coming down hard on the fake shops after complaints from the real Apple China, according to the Chinese press. While some of the shops were reportedly licensed as Apple resellers, there are only four official Apple Stores in China – two in Beijing and two in Shanghai.
The first of the fake Apple Stores was outed online by an English-speaking, China-based blogger writing under the name of BirdAbroad. “This was a total Apple Store ripoff” she writes of her visit to one of the dodgy Stores. “A beautiful ripoff – a brilliant one… But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The wall’s hadn’t been painted properly.”
Best of all in our minds is the sign above the door in one of the pictures identifying it to the world as an official “Apple Stoer.” Brilliant. You can check out the rest of BirdAbroad’s adventure in the fake Apple Stores of Kunming at the link below.