Fake Apple Store in China Even Fools Employees

By Tracey E. Schelmetic July 21, 2011

Apple stores, of course, make a lot of money. Selling iPhones, iPads, Mac Books and other popular equipment can sure rake in a few bucks.

Particularly if you don't have to pay any money to Apple to do so.

Enterprising criminals in Kunming in the Yunnan Province of China have reportedly been caught running a fake Apple store – perhaps selling counterfeit products – so convincing in every detail that even its employees thought they were working for the real deal.

A 27-year-old American blogger living in the city of Kunming stumbled on the store and covered it on his (or her) blog, reports the Toronto Sun today. The anonymous blogger, called “BirdAbroad” wrote about the store, remarking that, “This was a total Apple store rip-off. A beautiful rip-off – a brilliant one – the best rip-off store we had ever seen. Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple.”

China, of course, is a hotbed of counterfeit and unlicensed technology products, and the Sun reported that it was unclear if the products the store was peddling were the real deal or good counterfeits. While unauthorized Apple resellers dot China (selling real Apple goods from a store front) they make little effort to replicate real Apple stores in every detail, down to the furniture, displays and logos, as the store in Kunming has done.

Apple, which has genuine stores in only Beijing and Shanghai, with plans to open another in Hong Kong, has not commented on the fake store – though chances are pretty good that does NOT mean the company is taking no action, given its strong efforts to protect its brand.

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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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