China shuts down fake Apple "Stoers" in Kunming

Fake Apple Store (BirdAbroad)
By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - July 25, 2011.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is pondering what to do, following recent revelations of fake Apple Stores in Kunming, China. Local government has closed down two of them, but three remain. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers marvel at the dodgy reproductions.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: A glorious hour of intros, complete with animated sleeve art...

Aunty Beeb reports:

...[T]he elaborate fake stores...came to the world's attention after being exposed on a blog. ... [T]rade officials investigated and found five stores...posing as official Apple retail outlets. Two of the five have now been closed.


[A]n American woman living in Kunming, wrote about a visit to one fake Apple store which superficially resembled the official outlets. ...[T]he blogger [had] conversations with staff, many of whom were convinced they worked for [Apple].


Apple has said it has no comment to make on the discovery of the counterfeit shops.   

    Steven Mostyn adds:

Following a...wave of media coverage, it’s highly likely that Apple’s sharp-clawed legal team is presently eyeing its prey...[five] fake outlets have since been spotted across [Kunming].


However, the Kunming government website has revealed that three other licensed locations...remain untouched because investigators failed to find any fake Apple gadgetry on their shelves. ... [But] we cannot imagine that Cupertino will allow any licensed display and sell its highly desirable products from within shoddy re-creations of its iconic Apple Store chain. ...Jobs & Co. operate just four official Apple Stores across the country—two in Beijing and two in Shanghai.   

 The original whistle-blower, BirdAbroad, updates the story:

This seems like a good moment to introduce you all to an excellent and relevant word in Chinese: shanzhai. ... It means fake, ripoff, counterfeit.


An increasing number of Chinese people have contacted me...lamenting the enormous prevalence...but plenty of others have chastised me for even bothering to talk about this...shanzhai is unstoppable in China, they say...they don’t really care if the Apple store is shanzhai. ... Some have even said that Apple deserves to have shanzhai stores, since their products are absurdly expensive.   

  And Killian Bell chimes in: [You're fired -Ed.]

Those impressively fake Apple stores...were undoubtedly destined for doom after they enjoyed global fame. ...[B]ut surprisingly, Apple has had nothing to do with it.


Yu Cheng, who owns three...copycat Apple stores, believes he is “doing Apple a favor”...and has now applied to be an authorized Apple reseller. However...Yu isn’t violating any Chinese laws. ...[But] they continue to use Apple’s logo without authorization and will likely be the next to go.   

And Finally...
A glorious hour of intros, complete with animated sleeve art
[hat tip: Mark X]

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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