Fake Apple stores proliferate in small cities in China
(SPOT.ph) China, which has long been known for producing counterfeit gadgets and items, is now faking entire Apple stores, reports the Associated Press. An American blogger residing in Kunming City, Yunnan province, came across three of these stores and posted photos of them in a July 20 blog post titled, "Are You Listening Steve Jobs?"
From the sleek interiors to the attendants' uniforms, the shops were designed to look like the authentic Apple stores but with one glaring difference: the signs that spell out "Apple Store." Authentic Apple carriers install only the iconic Apple logo to introduce the brand. The blogger also noted that upon closer inspection, more dissimilar elements pop up. "The stairs were poorly made. The walls (haven’t) been painted properly," she wrote. The manager of an authorized reseller in Kunming also said that the staff "can’t even operate computers properly or tell you all the functions of the mobile phone." The two added that the setup is so convincing that most employees believe they are really working for Apple.
The blogger said there are more fake Apple stores in Kunming. One of her photos even showed one with a sign that said "Apple Stoer." "Although they may sell real Apple products, some of those products were not imported through legal means. And they cost more," she wrote.
According to the AP report, the fake stores highlight China's slow efforts to counter the rampant piracy culture despite a promise made earlier this year by the country’s commerce minister that piracy will be alleviated.
In a separate instance this week, Apple chief operating officer Timothy Cook said that China was key to its earnings and revenue-which grew to $3.8 billion last quarter in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan alone. "I firmly believe that we’re just scratching the surface right now. I think there is an incredible opportunity for Apple (in China)," he said, also revealing plans that Apple will open another store in Shanghai and Hong Kong by the end of the year.