An anonymous blogger, writing on BirdAbroad, caused a bit of a media storm recently when she posted “Are you listening, Steve Jobs?” In said post, she detailed the sudden appearance of three fake Apple stores in her home neighbourhood of Kunming, China.
China is pretty notorious for its knocks-offs (that’s fair to say, right?), but the authorities have acted quickly, and two fake stores have now been closed down.
BirdAbroad described one of the stores: “They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue t-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks.”
But closer inspection revealed a shoddily-assembled staircase, poorly painted walls, a sign saying: “Apple Store” (official stores simply have an Apple logo), and generic nametags simply reading: “Staff”.
ITPro reports that Chinese authorities have now investigated 300 shops, with five “Apple Stores” found to be selling official Apple products without authorisation. At least two of those have now been closed.
Apple has four official stores in China, two in Beijing and two in Shanghai.