Fake Apple Store found in China

An American blogger who lives in China has made a rather unusual discovery; a fake Apple Store found in the remote Chinese city of Kunming. In the store itself, a variety of Apple products are being sold in an environment that is comparable to those operated by Apple, making it confusing to the majority of customers that the store is in fact, a fake.

According to the blogger, this isn't the first fake store that she's seen in China but it's apparently the best, saying,

"[it was 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."

When the woman spoke with some of the staff, they apparently believed that they were working for the multi-national corporation and not that of a shady company.

It is not confirmed as to whether the products themselves were counterfeit, but they appeared to be real. As the woman was taking pictures in the store, she was approached by five members of staff who later put their hands in her face in order to prevent her from taking pictures. When the woman stated that she was an "American Apple [employee] visiting China and checking out the local stores," the staff became friendlier and permitted the use of her camera.

Apple's retail store locations do not mention one in the city of Kunming. Apple has very few stores in China at all, which may explain why there are those that wish to profit from the hole in the market. The country does have a substantially growing consumer base, particularly for Apple products, given that the stores in Beijing and Shanghai receive four times as many visitors compared to stores in the United States alone.

Only a couple of years ago, Apple products were not widely in the public domain but has since been taking the country by storm, as Apple released figures yesterday of sales in China increasing by 250%. Earlier on in the year, when an Apple store opened in Beijing, there were reports of a violent scuffle as members of the public attempted to enter the newly furnished retail space.

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37 Comments

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Based on the pics, that's a pretty darn good copy.

"The country does have a substantially growing consumer base, particularly for Apple products, given that the stores in Beijing and Shanghai receive four times as many visitors compared to stores in the United States alone."

If only more hardware companies could make more appealing electronics, and get them in the supply chain first. For any electronic good to be successful, it has to be both awesome and unique to garner people to that first, rather than similar devices later on. I'm not going to lie that Apple has managed to do that in regards to the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and some other products.

Wow even the employees have the "Apple Store" blue T-shirts with the logo on the chest and the name badges hanging around their neck. They went all out on this one.

The point is that all Apple stores are operated by Apple themselves. So no retail location can be called an official Apple Store unless Apple acknowledges its existence through press release or listed on their website.

There are only four stores in China as of right now, two in Shanghai and two in Beijing. If they were going to open a new store, why would they open one in Kunming rather than a much more populated city near the Pacific?

wins thread said,
if it's a copy of an Apple store, shouldn't it be called the Microsoft Store?

Microsoft Stores don't sell Apple products.

the420kid said,
when a countries entire modus operandi is to copy/steal everything the USA does - is any one really suprised here?
Yeah good point.

the420kid said,
when a countries entire modus operandi is to copy/steal everything the USA does - is any one really suprised here?
What an extremely naive analysis of an entire country.

the420kid said,
when a country's entire modus operandi is to copy/steal everything ALL THE OTHER COUNTRIES does - is any one really suprised here?

there, fixed

Was it blogger conclusion that store is unlicensed or he actually had called to apple and they confirmed that the store is fake?

You know, I hope this person has more evidence that this is a "fake" store then just poorly made stairs and paint?

If they are selling NON-Fake apple products, with employees who know the products and believe that they are working for apple, then that IS an apple store FFS. And just because employees dont want you taking pictures in the store also doesn't mean its a fake, again you go into an apple store here in the US and start walking around taking pictures, someone is probably gonna ask you some questions.

Evidence, you do know Apple lists all of the Apple Store locations around the world on their site right ?

It's not there, ergo it's NOT an Apple Store.

Ryoken said,
Evidence, you do know Apple lists all of the Apple Store locations around the world on their site right ?

It's not there, ergo it's NOT an Apple Store.


What if Apple hasnt updated their web site to include this store?

Gothic_Rebel said,

What if Apple hasnt updated their web site to include this store?
This is Apple we're talking about. I'm pretty sure they like any other major retail CORPORATE business will update their store locations. Anything to gain business at a new location is a good practice.

Ryoken said,
Evidence, you do know Apple lists all of the Apple Store locations around the world on their site right ?

It's not there, ergo it's NOT an Apple Store.


Apple does list all retail store on its page, which is 4 in case of China. BUT did you notice that it's not a retailer but a distributor or reseller. You can find there are hundreds of thousands of Apple resellers in China.
http://www.apple.com.cn/reseller/index.php
Input the city you are in and you'll find these resellers

Well the title fake store is not entirely accurate. The store is just not owned by Apple but they did sell Authentic Apple products so Apple still is making money and happy customers.

Also this American who took these pictures of the non owned Apple store in China actually worked for Apple and went inside and took pictures to document it.

Needles to say Apple will have little power of closing down this store as China is an economic power house and it is said Apple will make more money in China in the near future then in the USA. Apple shouldnt be to angry though as its products are authentic.

Aghares said,
If they search enough they'll find a fake Steve Jobs too

they had one for a drink commercial not to long ago where they give out a free ipad a week or something..