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.