Chinese Authorities Close Two Fake Apple Stores Over Permit Issues

Last week, we covered the story of fake Apple retail stores popping up in China and noted a follow-up report from The Wall Street Journal in which employees of the stores shared their thoughts about simply wanting to provide the highest levels of service to their customers.

fake apple store reuters

Fake Apple retail store in Kunming, China

Reuters now reports that officials in the city of Kunming where the fake Apple stores were publicized have discovered five such stores and have shut down two of them. The shutdowns were due to a lack of proper permits, however, rather than for any sort of infringement of fraud related to mimicking Apple's store designs as investigations on that front continue.

"Media should not misunderstand the situation and jump to conclusions. Some overseas media has made it appear the stores sold fake Apple products," said Chang Puyun, spokesman of Kunming government's business bureau.

"China has taken great steps to enforce intellectual property rights and the stores weren't selling fake products."

Officials are investigating whether Apple had applied with the Chinese government to have its store design and layout protected by law, Chang added.

The report notes that Chinese law prohibits companies from copying the "look and feel" of other stores but that enforcement of those laws is "often spotty". Many customers of the stores in question have expressed outrage over the news, feeling that they had been misled into thinking that the stores were genuine Apple-run shops and worrying that they had been sold fake products.

Apple has of course been making a significant effort at penetrating the Chinese market, having opened four large retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai and planning to open several dozen more stores there. During last week's earnings conference call, Apple executives noted that the company's sales in "greater China" totaled $3.8 billion for the quarter, six times that of the year-ago quarter.

Top Rated Comments

szstudios Avatar
122 months ago
1 Up

They should go to Kinkos and put a couple of these jumbo size in the store window.

Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Drunken Master Avatar
122 months ago



"China has taken great steps to enforce intellectual property rights ..."

Uh, no you haven't, Hop Sing. See that really big Apple logo outside of every store? That's just one, for starters.

Who's "Hop Sing"?

Oh, oh, I get it.

Racist prick.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BaldiMac Avatar
122 months ago
I am amazed by the number of people who are defending these fake stores. This isn't just about trademark violations or copying a store layout. It is fraud. Plain and simple. How is that acceptable?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WardC Avatar
122 months ago
I have noticed many are saying "Because they are selling genuine Apple products, what harm could be done by operating these stores?"

The whole point is -- These are not real Apple stores, the employees are not real, trained Apple employees, thus the "Apple Store experience" is not controlled by the company, as it is in the real Apple Stores. Apple dictates how things are done (and sold) in their stores, the employees are instructed on how to conduct business with customers, and in these "fake" Apple Stores, Apple has no control over what goes on, as far as the customer experience goes. The physical store is not up to Apple specs, and the products offered at the stores may not be the exact line-up, brands, and selection that Apple has approved to appear in the stores. Thus the physical store make-up, the employees, and the product selection is not up to Apple-spec....it is not an Apple authorized, trained, and controlled experience. So, these stores should be shutdown --- they are not offering the customers the "official" experience that Apple wants to deliver to the customers. That is the point I am trying to make.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ivladster Avatar
122 months ago
Sign for Apple.

This is a sign for Apple to hurry up and open more Apple Stoers (I mean Stores) in China.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DisMyMac Avatar
122 months ago
Shut down the phony Chinese restaurants operating in the U.S. They're all cheap imitations of Asian cuisine, not authorized to do business or serve customers.

Copying the "look and feel" of the Orient is a crime - Americans need to respect Asian customs and law if they want to do business.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...