The Tech Herald

Naughty Chinese retailers running fake Apple Stores

by Steven Mostyn - Jul 21 2011, 10:57

This guy actually thinks he works for Apple. Image: BirdAbroad.

Evidently not satisfied with merely flogging fake iPhones, iPads and MacBooks to unwitting consumers, naughty retailers in China are busy upgrading the Apple-flavoured charade to include mock Apple Stores. Seriously.

Although Apple does have a number of official stores located in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai—which welcome somewhere akin to 40,000 visitors every day—American blogger 'BirdAbroad' has revealed the rise of completely fake Apple outlets.

The pseudo-Apple experience has been unearthed in Kunming, in the remote Yunnan Province, within a store that looked exactly as it should thanks to same the same gallery lighting, the same bold advertising, the same product-laden benches, and even the same uniformed staff.

“They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple Store. It had the classic Apple Store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area,” wrote the stunned blogger. “The employees were even wearing those blue T-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks.”

However, obvious cracks soon appeared in the façade and it didn’t take long for the American shopper to locate poorly made shop fittings, badly painted walls, and a huge ‘Apple Store’ sign as opposed to the iconic Apple logo utilised by Jobs & Co. through official outlets.

Amazingly, the store’s all-encompassing fakery is so utterly convincing to the Chinese that store employees actually believe they are working for Apple’s retail arm.

When approached for comment, Cupertino-based Apple Inc. said—surprise, surprise—that it does not operate an official store out of Kunming.

We expect that Apple-branded legal dogs have already been unleashed on this matter.

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