fake apple store reuters
Chinese authorities have discovered another 22 unauthorized Apple resellers in the city of Kunming, according to Reuters. The world's most famous fake Apple Store is also located in Kunming. The 22 stores were ordered to stop using Apple's logo by China's Administration for Industry and Commerce.

The market watchdog agency said it would set up a complaint hotline and boost monitoring, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

It did not say if the shops were selling knock-off Apple products or genuine but smuggled models.

Countless unauthorized resellers of Apple and other brands' electronic products throughout China sell the real thing but buy their goods overseas and smuggle them into the country to escape taxes.

Last month, Chinese authorities closed two fake Apple Stores over permit issues, not copyright fraud.

Top Rated Comments

shartypants Avatar
145 months ago
They can just take a bite out of the other side of the Apple and call them Mapple stores :)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BrianHut84 Avatar
145 months ago
Nothing new

I have lived in Guangzhou China the past 6 years. I haven't posted on MacRumors in a very long time (at least 7 years) and actually had to make a new account to throw my silly opinion out for everyone to read.

When I first read this story on macrumors and yahoo about the fake Apple stores in Kunming, it surprised me, in that, this is news? You wouldn't believe the amount of copy Apple stores where I live here in Guangzhou, for years now. I read that story and thought, why is this getting press? This is business as usual for China. You visit any major city in China, and likely many of the smaller ones, I'm pretty well traveled in China, and you will find any number of copy Apple stores. Now, they all sell legitimate Apple products from my experience. I have NEVER seen a knock off Apple laptop or desktop sold at any of these stores. It just doesn't exist. It would be too cost prohibitive for the Chinese to come up with a replica close enough to the original to make any money. These knock off stores are, in my opinion, taking advantage of the popularity of the Mac platform over here and filling a need. iAnything and Mac anything is HUGELY popular at the moment. Apple only has a few official stores in China right now and where there is a desire for something, there is someone willing to fill that. They sell all their products in these fake Apple stores for the same price as you could order them on Apples official Chinese online store. As Apple expands it's presence in China, these knock-offs will slowly disappear for sure. Until then though, it only benefits Apple, and the average consumer in China certainly doesn't know the difference between a true Apple retail store and a fake. Even the employees believe they work for Apple if I read the article correct.
I'm not saying this is good or bad, it just is. I would never buy an Apple product from them personally. China puts a very high tax on all Apple products. For all my Apple needs, I take the 3 hour bus trip to Hong Kong which sells everything at about American prices, minus the sales tax.
There are certainly fake iPhones and iPods to be bought in China, but anyone with a brain knows they are fakes. The market in Guangzhou called haiyin guangchang will do their best to confuse you, but any moderately savvy user will know the difference.
Just my two cents!

Brian
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
toddybody Avatar
145 months ago
Sorry, but i think its awesome they had the guts to FAKE an Apple Store. Thats just plain hilarious.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wilsonlaidlaw Avatar
145 months ago
Do the stairs on that picture lead to nowhere? :eek: There doesn't seem to be a second floor.

It's the Chinese version of the Indian rope trick. Your money goes up to the top of the stairs and vanishes.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BrianHut84 Avatar
145 months ago
The Smugglers

It also benefits the people running the scam in the first place.

And the smugglers, don't forget the smugglers.

Yes, they certainly do profit, but they are almost no different than someone running an independent Apple retail store in America, that sells the same products for the same prices they do. The major difference is here in China they have stolen Apples retail store design IP. Wrong, of course. But in Chinese culture, which is wildly different from Western culture, stealing IP is not considered a crime at all. It happens every day in every facet of life in China. They don't think about it morally or ethically like our culture might but only economically. Someone has a good idea that works, copy it and slightly modify it for the Chinese market. It happens EVERY DAY. They have copied everything from IKEA store design to Chilis logo. A quick google search will enlighten you to what the Chinese have copied and modified to appeal to the Chinese culture. From my very small research, China is in the position Japan was in some 20 to 30 years ago. Remember when "made in Japan" was a big joke in America? Now "Made in China" is the big punchline for low quality and cheap production. In my opinion, China is coming into it's own, just as Japan did, and will in time, take it's place in the world as an economic super power, producing the majority of the goods the world needs, and producing them of the highest quality. This will take time however and western technology, quality, and ingenuity will be the main factors that influence change. As China stands alone, they are completely paralyzed due to Chairman Mao, as far as education, free thought, science, art, politics, philosophy, and many other subjects we take for granted in the west are concerned.
Case example. My very educated and unique Chinese girlfriend does a weekly Chinese trivia night here in Guangzhou. Just last night one of her questions was, what is this famous landmark? She showed a very typical picture of the forbidden city in beijing. Possibly one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Of 8 Chinese teams, 3 of them incorrectly named the picture. My point being, the restructuring of China via Chairman Mao set them back many many decades. Free thought is a very foreign concept to the Chinese. They were raised to follow a very strict regiment and that's all they know. Only the basics, Math, language, history (which is wildly biased), and a few other core subjects are taught in school. Imagination and creativity in people is so far and few between due to the system everyone is brought up in, and the existing system which simply copies what is successful in the west.
I have probably rambled on way to much for sure. I guess the final point is, while the smugglers are wrong, they are just doing what they know. They don't have any concept of right or wrong. They are just people filling a need trying to make a few bucks. Don't begrudge them too much, as, if you were in the same position, you may do the same. Don't get me wrong, I am the biggest critic of the way the Chinese conduct their business, but you still have to stand back sometimes and see things from their perspective.

Brian
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
philbeeney Avatar
145 months ago
I loved John Gruber's take on this story.

"That’s twice the number of legitimate Microsoft stores." :D
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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