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Chinese counterfeiting extends to full-blown fake Apple retail stores

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
Extremely detailed knock-off Apple retail stores, complete with blue t-shirt-wearing employees claiming to work for the company, have been discovered in China.

According to the blog BirdAbroad (via ifoAppleStore), several counterfeit Apple stores have popped up in Kunming, China. One such location featured a winding staircase and employees in t-shirts with Apple logos and name tags.

"The name tags around the necks of the friendly salespeople didnt actually have names on them just an Apple logo and the anonymous designation Staff," the report read.

The author called the store "the best ripoff store" she had ever seen, though there were several giveaways, such as the poor quality of the staircase and a sub-par paint job. Also, the stores do not appear to have upgraded to Apple's Retail 2.0 layout that uses iPads as "smart signs."

According to her, the employees at the store "all genuinely think they work for Apple." After store security guards and employees prohibited her from taking photos, the author hinted that she and her husband were "two American Apple employees visiting China and checking out the local stores" and were then allowed to photograph the store.

Credit: BirdAbroad

Credit: BirdAbroad

Several of the pop-up stores were located within blocks of each other in Kunming, including one "Apple Stoer" location.

Credit: BirdAbroad

Though Apple products are frequently counterfeited in China, it is rare that copyists will pay enough attention to detail to so closely copy the company's retail store and business model.

Update: The Wall Street Journal spoke to a salesman at the store, who admitted the store was unauthorized, though he claimed store sells genuine Apple products at the same prices as advertised on the company's website.

Credit: BirdAbroad

It doesnt make much of a difference for us whether were authorized or not, he said over the phone. I just care that what I sell every day are authentic Apple products, and that our customers dont come back to me to complain about the quality of the products.

The staff member also boasted that the store "should be one of the best in terms of scale and the level of professionalism."
Credit: BirdAbroad

The Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker revealed on Tuesday that sales in Greater China $3.8 billion in the June quarter, a whopping six-fold increase from a year ago. Apple's four official retail stores in mainland China are the company's highest traffic and highest grossing locations.

The company announced plans last February to open 25 retail stores in China over the next couple years in order to keep up with growing demand in the world's most populous nation. Hong Kong will receive its first Apple Store during the September quarter, while two locations in Chengdu are rumored to be in the works.

Apple plans to build 30 new retail locations during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. The company's retail business brought in a total of $3.5 billion in revenues last quarter.
post #2 of 90
Holy crap... China's selling counterfeit Apple products in counterfeit Apple Stores? I think this is the plot to Inception 2...
post #3 of 90
Does this mean the store is also selling counterfeit Apple Products? Or are they selling the real stuff and just counterfeiting the store look & feel?
post #4 of 90
There are many "indirect" "outlets that attempt to "appear" as telecoms such as at&t or Verizon.
Our course not at all related.

Why not apple as well?

I'd be afraid to buy something Yes.
post #5 of 90
Unbelievable.
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #6 of 90
I'm wondering when we'll see a Microsoft Stoer popping up...
post #7 of 90
Okay, this is reaching a new low. I give it 3 months before Apple comes with a big hammer to drop. I do wonder if some or all the products are counterfeit.
post #8 of 90
This already happened in the United States. There, they're called Microsoft Stores.
post #9 of 90
I'd like to know if the Chinese Gov't will do anything about this store? I wouldn't be surprised if Apple is barred from doing anything substantial about stopping the fake stores. Complain to the Authorities (politely... perhaps pay a bribe) and pray that the Gov't is the one that puts down the hammer.

From my experience, I could envision the Chinese Gov't may just let them operate the stores as long as they keep them small and out of the largest cities.
post #10 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Okay, this is reaching a new low. I give it 3 months before Apple comes with a big hammer to drop. I do wonder if some or all the products are counterfeit.

What hammer would that be? US courts have no jurisdiction there, and China doesn't have a stellar record of trademark/patent/copyright enforcement. lol Still, this is a blatant enough example that I suppose the state department could get involved and try to get China to shut them down.
post #11 of 90
Bring this to an Art fair and it is an Installation/Performance :-)
post #12 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maltz View Post

What hammer would that be? US courts have no jurisdiction there, and China doesn't have a stellar record of trademark/patent/copyright enforcement. lol Still, this is a blatant enough example that I suppose the state department could get involved and try to get China to shut them down.

Give me a break. You don't think the hundreds of thousands of indirect workers that are employed in China - thanks to Apple- and the untold billions of dollars of business done in China - thanks to Apple - gives Apple a little bit of leverage to tell the Chinese bigwigs to swat an irritating mosquito? Come on.
post #13 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post

This already happened in the United States. There, they're called Microsoft Stores.

Counterfeit Microsoft Stores? Isn't that redundant.
post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

I'm wondering when we'll see a Microsoft Stoer popping up...

The Chinese do have standards, you know...
New books out now! www.jonathanbaldwin.co.uk
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New books out now! www.jonathanbaldwin.co.uk
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post #15 of 90
Beat me to it
New books out now! www.jonathanbaldwin.co.uk
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New books out now! www.jonathanbaldwin.co.uk
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post #16 of 90
LoL, it really must be the wild west out there if they can get away with that.

They must think that changing "Store" to "Stoer" is enough difference to avoid a copyright complaint!
post #17 of 90
Wow. China. Anything really is possible there. Or, there is no level to which they will not stoop.
post #18 of 90
Wow.


That is all.
post #19 of 90
post #20 of 90
Reminds of of Alias where they are all fooled into thinking they work for the US government. lol.
post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post

Reminds of of Alias where they are all fooled into thinking they work for the US government. lol.

Totally! This is both extremely tragic and unfortunately extremely hilarious. I wonder what happens when they apply to "transfer" by applying at the official Apple Stores in Beijing and Shanghai.
post #22 of 90
This is just an authorized dealer for genuine Apple products.
post #23 of 90
The. Funniest. Story. Ever. This. Year.

To even think the staffs he'll bent thinking they actually work for Apple is beyond hilarious. Not actually shocked but yes, shocking! What's next I don't know. Seems everything is possible in China. These people obviously don't care.

*addendum below
post #24 of 90
It is also possible they are selling grey market but genuine Apple products.
post #25 of 90
I almost hope they ARE selling 100% counterfeit stuff. That would make a truly surreal experience!

post #26 of 90
I wonder if this store was one of the reasons behind the recent 6x growth rate and $3.8bn revenue growth in China for Apple...
If that is the case, do you think they'll bother to shut it down?
post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post

Reminds of of Alias where they are all fooled into thinking they work for the US government. lol.

Or an episode of Fringe. Fauxlivia sighting rumored.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #28 of 90
I was there. Their jeanous bar is amazing.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post

this already happened in the united states. There, they're called microsoft stores.

+1.

.....
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post

This already happened in the United States. There, they're called Microsoft Stores.

This post wins the throed!
Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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post #31 of 90
How come nobody on this thread can spell? The products look legitimate enough to me, unless the Chinese knock offs are doing a very good job of imitating the iPad, so probably just an authorised ( or not) reseller using the Apple logo, and Apple clothing a bit over enthusiastically.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #32 of 90
If that is the case, Apple should do nothing.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #33 of 90
I am actually sorry for the poor "employees" who think they work for Apple. Look at that chinese guy posing for the picture... Some day soon he'll be coming home to his wife and explaining he lost his job and actually never had what he thought he had...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #34 of 90
Will fake Steve Jobs be visiting this store?
post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

The. Funniest. Story. Ever. This. Year.

To even think the staffs he'll bent thinking they actually work for Apple is beyond hilarious. Not actually shocked but yes, shocking! What's next I don't know. Seems everything is possible in China. These people obviously don't care.

*addendum below

And some of them hell bent on thinking they are "geniuses".
post #36 of 90
Do the Chinese have no shame? This is beyond pathetic. It's also quite ironic that China is where a lot of real Apple products are assembled. China is truly the country of zero innovation and cheap, shameless, third rate, crappy counterfeits, AKA crap.

It's also too bad that the Chinese scalpers here in the US are all too real.

The Chinese might as well hold a fake keynote next week, with a fake WDC following that.

At least the Chinese food store by me still has real Chinese people working in it.
post #37 of 90
Also, it would be awesome if somebody visits that fake store with fake money and buys a few products. Counterfeiters deserve to be paid with counterfeit currency. That would serve them good. And they could hardly complain if that indeed were to happen.
post #38 of 90
I remember a similar story about a fake Nike factory built simultaneously with a real Nike factory. Same plans, same suppliers. They were producing REAL Nike shoes and selling them in easten Europe. I wonder if the goods in these stores are coming out the back door of Foxcon and other factories?
post #39 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post

Or an episode of Fringe. Fauxlivia sighting rumored.

I think these are just Apple Stores from the Fringe universe that migrated to this universe.
post #40 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Give me a break. You don't think the hundreds of thousands of indirect workers that are employed in China - thanks to Apple- and the untold billions of dollars of business done in China - thanks to Apple - gives Apple a little bit of leverage to tell the Chinese bigwigs to swat an irritating mosquito? Come on.

Nope.
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