1. narci's Avatar
    Fake Apple stores spring up in China - CBC News

    At first, it looks like a sleek Apple store. Sales assistants in blue T-shirts with the company's logo chat to customers. Signs advertising the iPad 2 hang from the white walls.

    Outside, the famous logo sits next to the words "Apple Store."

    And that's the clue it's fake.

    China, long known for producing counterfeit consumer gadgets, software and brand name clothing, has reached a new piracy milestone — fake Apple stores.

    An American who lives in Kunming in southern Yunnan province said Thursday that she and her husband stumbled on three shops masquerading as bona fide Apple stores in the city a few days ago.

    She took photos and posted them on her BirdAbroad blog.

    The three stores are not among the authorized resellers listed on Apple Inc.'s website. The maker of the iPhone and other hit gadgets has four company stores in China — two in Beijing and two in Shanghai — and various official resellers. Apple's Beijing office declined to comment.

    The proliferation of the fake stores underlines the slow progress that China's government is making in countering a culture of a rampant piracy and widespread production of bogus goods that is a major irritant in relations with trading partners.

    China's Commerce Minister promised American executives earlier this year that the latest in a string of crackdowns on product piracy would deliver lasting results.

    The 27-year-old blogger, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the set-up of the stores was so convincing that the employees themselves seemed to believe they worked for Apple.

    An American living in Kunming, China, posted this image of a fake Apple store on her BirdAbroad blog. She said the sign with the words 'Apple store' were a giveaway. BirdAbroad blog"It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue T-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks," she wrote on her blog.

    "But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn't been painted properly. Apple never writes 'Apple Store' on its signs — it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit."

    A worker at the fake Apple store on Zhengyi Road in Kunming, which most of the photos of the BirdAbroad blog show, told The Associated Press that they are an "Apple store" before hanging up.

    The manager of an authorized reseller in Kunming, who gave only his surname, Zhang, said most customers have no idea the stores are fake
    07-21-11 03:29 PM
  2. grunt0300's Avatar
    Fake Apple stores spring up in China - CBC News

    At first, it looks like a sleek Apple store. Sales assistants in blue T-shirts with the company's logo chat to customers. Signs advertising the iPad 2 hang from the white walls.

    Outside, the famous logo sits next to the words "Apple Store."

    And that's the clue it's fake.

    China, long known for producing counterfeit consumer gadgets, software and brand name clothing, has reached a new piracy milestone — fake Apple stores.

    An American who lives in Kunming in southern Yunnan province said Thursday that she and her husband stumbled on three shops masquerading as bona fide Apple stores in the city a few days ago.

    She took photos and posted them on her BirdAbroad blog.

    The three stores are not among the authorized resellers listed on Apple Inc.'s website. The maker of the iPhone and other hit gadgets has four company stores in China — two in Beijing and two in Shanghai — and various official resellers. Apple's Beijing office declined to comment.

    The proliferation of the fake stores underlines the slow progress that China's government is making in countering a culture of a rampant piracy and widespread production of bogus goods that is a major irritant in relations with trading partners.

    China's Commerce Minister promised American executives earlier this year that the latest in a string of crackdowns on product piracy would deliver lasting results.

    The 27-year-old blogger, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the set-up of the stores was so convincing that the employees themselves seemed to believe they worked for Apple.

    An American living in Kunming, China, posted this image of a fake Apple store on her BirdAbroad blog. She said the sign with the words 'Apple store' were a giveaway. BirdAbroad blog"It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue T-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks," she wrote on her blog.

    "But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn't been painted properly. Apple never writes 'Apple Store' on its signs — it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit."

    A worker at the fake Apple store on Zhengyi Road in Kunming, which most of the photos of the BirdAbroad blog show, told The Associated Press that they are an "Apple store" before hanging up.

    The manager of an authorized reseller in Kunming, who gave only his surname, Zhang, said most customers have no idea the stores are fake
    I wonder if there are any fake Blackberry stores?
    07-21-11 07:28 PM
  3. tysphone's Avatar
    I wonder if there are any fake Blackberry stores?
    You would think so huh, havent heard any report of that yet. the funny part is that the employees actually think they work for apple.
    07-22-11 10:28 AM
  4. grunt0300's Avatar
    You would think so huh, havent heard any report of that yet. the funny part is that the employees actually think they work for apple.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    07-22-11 10:35 AM
  5. stuaw11's Avatar
    You would think so huh, havent heard any report of that yet. the funny part is that the employees actually think they work for apple.
    Can't really blame the employees, they really would have to reason to question it. It looks just like an Apple store, the shirts/tags are the same, and its not like all employees are all taken to Cuppertino prior to hiring to prove the store is real.

    If you walked into a retail chain to get a job you wouldnt question if it was a real store or not. You'd just kind of assume it was a legit store/chain/franchise/etc.
    07-22-11 11:36 AM
  6. narci's Avatar
    Follow up news:

    China Fake Apple Store Clerk Speaks Out - China Real Time Report - WSJ

    Suddenly, one of the most famous Apple stores in the world is one that not only isn’t a real Apple Store, but apparently isn’t even an authorized Apple reseller.

    As noted earlier on China Real Time, the fake Apple Store, located in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, was spotted by an expatriate blogger in the city who uses the handle BirdAbroad. It has since gotten widespread international attention for the remarkable lengths to which its proprietors seem to have gone to mimic the look and feel of a real Apple Store.

    Trying to reach the store’s owners has been tough. Repeated calls to the manager on Thursday went unanswered. But a store employee reached by phone confirmed that the store is not an authorized Apple reseller. The salesman said products in the store are genuine Apple products sold at the same prices as those advertised on Apple’s website.

    BirdAbroad said in a post Wednesday that store staff she spoke to appeared to believe they were employees of Apple. The staffer reached by phone was under no such illusion. “It doesn’t make much of a difference for us whether we’re authorized or not,” he said. “I just care that what I sell every day are authentic Apple products, and that our customers don’t come back to me to complain about the quality of the products.”

    The store is one of many unofficial resellers with Apple products on display around China. BirdAbroad’s post said there were two other Apple retailers around the corner from the featured fake store, one of which has a misspelled sign calling itself “Apple Stoer.” Many of the Apple products carried by resellers are purchased from the company’s retail outlets in China, while others are bought overseas and smuggled in. In some cases, the products on offer are second-hand or even knock-offs. It’s unclear where the Kunming fake Apple Store sources its products,

    “I think in Yunnan, our store should be one of the best in terms of scale and the level of professionalism,” the Kunming salesman said. The Kunming store’s winding staircase, blue employee t-shirts and official looking name tags help give it the look and feel of one of Apple’s iconic Apple Stores, of which there are only four in China—two in Beijing, and two in Shanghai. While valuable as retail channels, Apple’s highly stylized stores are also an important marketing tool, analysts say.

    Now that it has undoubtedly gotten Apple’s attention, one option for the Kunming store could be to apply to be part of Apple’s network of authorized resellers. But it’s unclear how kindly Apple would respond to such a request under the circumstances. Matters relating to Apple’s intellectual property are not usually taken lightly, as illustrated last year by a police probe into an iPhone 4 prototype purchased by technology website Gizmodo before the device’s launch, and this year by prison terms handed down to three people in Shenzhen after police discovered they had collaborated to steal pre-release photos of the iPad 2 in order to make accessories for it.

    An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Official Apple resellers, labeled as “Apple Shops” on the company’s website, are granted authorized status after going through an application process for certification to sell or provide specific Apple products and technical support services.

    Photos of the authorized resellers’ stores on Apple’s website show that some of its official resellers also nod to Apple’s trademark, minimalist look and feel, and also feature giant posters of Apple products. But there are guidelines, including on how to use the company’s logos. One authorized Apple reseller in Beijing said Thursday that his store’s design and the placement of Apple’s logos are all “done according to Apple’s requirements.”
    07-22-11 12:13 PM
  7. tedzone's Avatar
    Those boys have fake EVERYTHING. Why not apple stores. lol.
    I could just see turtle neck guy pulling a tantrum.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-22-11 09:18 PM
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