Multiple fake ‘Apple Stores’ in China even fake out employees

Our neighborhood in Kunming, China “has definitely kicked it up a notch or seven,” BirdAbroad blogs. “Starbucks has opened not one, but THREE branches (that I encountered) within a 10 minute walk of one another.”

“An H&M has opened across from our apartment building. These are the kinds of major Western brands that were previously only represented in Kunming by fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC,” BirdAbroad reports. “Our neighborhood has quickly become the swanky shopping center of the city.”

BirdAbroad reports, “So when we strolled down a street a few blocks from our house a couple weeks ago, I was only sort of surprised to see this new place, one that any American of my generation can probably recognize instantaneously:”

Fake Apple Store in China
Fake Apple Store in China (photo credit: BirdAbroad)

“You have already guessed the punchline, of course: this was a total Apple store ripoff. A beautiful ripoff – a brilliant one – the best ripoff store we had ever seen (and we see them every day). But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn’t been painted properly,” BirdAbroad reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds just like a Microsoft Store.

BirdAbroad reports, “Apple never writes ‘Apple Store’ on it’s signs – it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit.”

Fake Apple Store in China sign
Fake Apple Store in China's sign (photo credit: BirdAbroad)

BirdAbroad reports, “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… And the best part? A ten minute walk around the corner revealed not one, but TWO more rip-off Apple stores.”

More info and photos the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you work behind the China Apple Stoer’s Genius Bra, you’re no Einstein.

Chris Chang reports for M.I.C Gadget, “The store has been open for one and a half years, it had an Apple authorized reseller license for half a year until it was caught selling new products at much higher prices than Apple allows. It is located in Kunming and the owner has some connections with people in the Shanghai Apple store in Pudong, this is how he gets Apple’s sales charts and posters. By going online to portal.apple.com you can access this. Also of note he gets his product from the grey market, like all unlicensed Apple resellers. His prices are quite high due to import duties. The owner is from Guangdong and owns a store in Shenzhen and also in Hangzhou. Sales are strong, but he has many customer complaints.”

Read more in the full article, which includes info and photos about many, many more fake Apple Stores in China, here.

And, now, these “Apple Stoers” close in 3…2…

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

20 Comments

  1. This is the problem in countries that don’t have enforceable Property Rights laws. There is not much in the way of recourse in China for companies that have their IP and Trademarks ripped off.

    1. China has all the laws you can rattle off. They just don’t give a crap. The police or enforcing agencies still think in Nationalist terms, and want badly to rip off all these ‘Foreign’ companies. There’s no enforcement, that’s all.

    2. If Apple goes at them the next headline may read:
      “Apple Stoer is disappointed at Apple’s constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market”.

  2. As one of the comments on Apple Insider had pointed out: MS did indeed do the same thing here, except they called it Microsoft Store.
    Kudos to the Chinese to maintain some standard by not bothering with a Microsoft Stoer.

    Meanwhile, Samsung’s got nothing on the Chinese artisans yet. Good artists borrow, great artists steal; in China, apparently, the light-bulb moment had it: why steal when you can just be the entity and move right in?
    Creepy.

  3. A friend of mine who lives in Beijing sent me some movies on DVD that he bought from a street vendor for about $0.99.

    They were better quality than the genuine article.

    And my Adidas Superstar that were bought for $2.99 from the Beijing Streets are still going strong…

  4. They are doing nothing wrong, I am sure if you checked into it, they are an authorized Apple reseller!

    We have the same type of thing in Mexico, my closest store is in the largest mall in Cancun, looks just like an Apple store, the only place I can visit where all they sell is Apple, have every product on display, knowledgeable sales people and on the window they say authorized Apple Reseller!

    I got to know the manager and he told me Apple Mexico visit regularly, provide product training seminars for the employees and provide all the product information materials and literature.

    It may not be an actual Apple store, as the China ones too, but its the next best thing, show casing Apple products, and it even has the same buzz as an Apple store, I for one was tickled pink when they opened!

  5. If you read the latest Apple press release on the quarter just ended financial results, you will see that China contributed $3.8 billion to the top line. This is not a trivial sum. In fact 56% of sales came from outside the Americas. Sales in Asia including Japan and the rest of the Asia Pacific region achieved parity with European sales. This is nothing to snivel at. 

    By the same token if the ersatz Apple stores in China are enabling greater numbers of Chinese people to appreciate and view Apple products, this can only be a good thing to draw more people into the Apple fold. If at the end of the day it results in higher Apple sales and by extension higher Apple stock prices then the means justifies the ends. 

    As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” Long may Apple roses bloom in China.

  6. Counterfeiting is counterfeiting, whether drywall (containing dangerous sulfuric substances that corrode wiring and pipes) name brand silk trousers (that fall apart after 1/2 of a wearing) or critical aviation replacement parts including turbine blades and aileron actuators, nav computers, even phony first growth Bordeaux wines with laser etched “authentication”, and so forth. The totalitarianism of the People’s Republic openly ignores this behavior ostensibly because there is an eager bargain-hunting consumer market in the western economies. No exports leave China without a dominant commercial premise.

    There will be no crackdown on the phony Apple store nor the fake or defective merchandise; it is apparently a thriving business in China, as are all of the rip-off merchandisers. And it is not a surprise that the superficial aesthetics look convincingly “real” Apple, right through to the employees. But is this really any more a theft of intellectual property than the obvious but defective Samsung copies of Apple products? That is a thorny affair as Apple uses Samsung as a mainstream component supplier. And as Apple seeks to command market share in China, the delicate balance of obtaining access to a gigantic market is tempered by the Chinese tolerance of widespread counterfeiting — almost a mark of national pride — and their abiding reluctance to grant repatriation of revenues to American and European businesses.

    No, the Chinese authorities will not intervene, not unless massive loss of life inside China is the result of such larceny, as with the collapsed schools with fake rebar, or crashed airliners with counterfeit engine parts or infant milk poisoned with melamine. When Chinese citizenry are directly affected, the authorities sometimes will act, but there will be no comeuppance for faking Apple. The effect both inside and outside China will be to damage the brand that Apple has so meticulously designed and maintained.

    With the Chinese central bank holding over 25% of US Treasury debt and buying more daily, they have us over a barrel and individual counterfeiting entrepreneurs are lavishing in their advantageous leveraged position. The one possible benefit is that fake Apple Mac Pro servers will not be as useful for hacking into our defense networks, for that they need reliable equipment.

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