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Chinese officials investigating fake Apple Stores as customers complain

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 
After reports emerged of "knockoff" Apple Stores in Kunming, China, government officials have launched an investigation into retail stores in the city, even as outraged customers have returned to the store demanding proof that their purchases are genuine.

According to Reuters, industrial and commercial authorities will inspect all electronics shops in the city, which is located in Yunnan province in southwest China. The investigation will look into business licenses, authorized permits on brand use, and the purchase channel of each store, a worker from the department told China's official Xinhua news agency.

The first reports of the counterfeit Apple Store emerged earlier in the week and quickly drew international attention. BirdAbroad, the blog which first broke the story, had said that employees of one store claimed to work for Apple. That store included staff wearing blue t-shirts and name tags bearing the Apple logo, as well as a lower-quality version of Apple's iconic winding staircase.

Calls to the store placed by reporters have since confirmed that at least some of the staff are willing to admit that the store is a fake. ""There is no Chinese law that says I can't decorate my shop the way I want to decorate it," one employee told Reuters.



After news of the store was picked up by local Chinese media, a number of upset customers returned to the store to complain. "With a store this big, it looks so believable who would have thought it was fake?" said a customer, who had come back to the store to demand a receipt for her purchase of a MacBook Pro and iPhone 3G.

"Where's my receipt, you promised me my receipt last month!" she shouted at the store's employees. Staff said that business had been affected by the report.

Credit: BirdAbroad

Some customers, however, were unfazed by the news that the store was not an authorized Apple reseller. "As long as their products are real it's okay -- after all, you enter a store not to look at anything except their products," said 18-year-old Hu Junkai. "If the products you buy are real why do you care whether the store is a copy?"

Credit: BirdAbroad

Apple operates just four official retail stores in China, though it plans to open a total of 25 in the
post #2 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After reports emerged of "knockoff" Apple Stores in Kunming, China, government officials have launched an investigation into retail stores in the city, even as outraged customers have returned to the store demanding proof that their purchases are genuine. ...

Horrible music choice on the video. Weird Yiddish music for a video about a fake Chinese Apple store? But I guess that wasn't Apple Insider.

I like how they have Dyson fans on the second floor. Hilarious.
post #3 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"There is no Chinese law that says I can't decorate my shop the way I want to decorate it," one employee told Reuters.

Implying that's the issue here.

Quote:
"Where's my receipt, you promised me my receipt last month!"

How do you NOT get the receipt the instant you purchase your item? Even our Amish grocer gives receipts. They're printed from a cash register hooked to a car battery, for heaven's sake.

Quote:
Hu Junkai.

Come on, this guy's just playing with them. "Huge Junkie" is not a name. This is, of course, tongue in cheek as I realize it's quite a valid name. And probably pronounced 'who youn-kai'.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #4 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Implying that's the issue here.

That's exactly the issue. If they are selling genuine Apple products, can that reseller make their store look like an Apple store?

It all depends on what's allowed by Chinese law. In the U.S., a store couldn't use Apple's logo and other images like this without Apple's consent.


You have to understand that China is the pirating capital of the world. They just don't have a moral/ethical problem with copying. It's not as high in their list of 'values' is it is in Western Civilization. A friend of mine went to Beijing on business and bought 'North Face' gear from pushcarts on the street. Wanna make any guess on whether the stuff was genuine or not?


Thoughts to ponder:

Why are the ethics and morals in China different than here?

Does the West have a right to impose its values on other cultures?

Where did our (Western) sense of morality come from?
post #5 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Horrible music choice on the video. Weird Yiddish music for a video about a fake Chinese Apple store? But I guess that wasn't Apple Insider.

I like how they have Dyson fans on the second floor. Hilarious.

The fans are probably fake too.
post #6 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

That's exactly the issue. If they are selling genuine Apple products, can that reseller make their store look like an Apple store?

Were they? Selling genuine products, I mean.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #7 of 116
Even if they were selling real Apple products, they definitely aren't authorized to do so. So either way, they're in the wrong.
post #8 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Were they? Selling genuine products, I mean.

We'll have to wait and see what info comes out. My guess is that they probably were, because it'd be a huge task to make an entire Apple lineup of products that were high-quality fakes.

2 scenarios:

* The store owner was a legit Apple reseller like Best Buy or Target, did everything on the up-and-up, but then 'decorated' his store to look like an Apple store.

* Or, the owner had connections to the Apple product makers like Foxxcon and had them supply him with product on the side. Not as likely, as Foxxcon would be jeopardizing their own business with Apple.

If they are all fake Apple products, though......that would be amazing, and you'd actually have to congratulate the guy for not only making fake products, but a fake store, too. Heck, if he can really do all that, he should just set up his own legitimate electronics company and compete with Apple.
post #9 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Were they? Selling genuine products, I mean.

I believe the apple products are genuine. IMO it's not that bad as it would be much worse if they sold fake apple products as well. As long as the hardware is real and they do a good job on promoting apple products it's ok. I guess they will change the look on the store front and use different t-shirts on the employees.

They might infringe on apples copyright by using the apple logo without consent but I believe in china copyright law is not that highly looked upon.

//Rob
post #10 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Even if they were selling real Apple products, they definitely aren't authorized to do so. So either way, they're in the wrong.

Are you sure the Chinese laws are written as such?
post #11 of 116
I don't have any problem with them making their stores look identical to Apple's IF they are authorized to sell real products and IF they aren't passing their store/company name off as "Apple Store".

Just like none of the Apple Authorized Resellers here can call themselves "Apple Store", they oughtn't be able to, either. And I'm pretty sure it's downright illegal anyway.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #12 of 116
Apple should have an affilate programs with these fake stores. Obviously whoever opens them up care about recreating the look and feel of apple stores. It would be silly to just close them down (especially in china where it may take quite some time for apple to cover the country in stores). Maybe make an agreement where they can display apple logo, but must also clearly state affiliate or something like that to let people know its not 100% apple experience.

I think we have those in US too (affiliates I mean).
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #13 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

That's exactly the issue. If they are selling genuine Apple products, can that reseller make their store look like an Apple store?

It all depends on what's allowed by Chinese law. In the U.S., a store couldn't use Apple's logo and other images like this without Apple's consent.


You have to understand that China is the pirating capital of the world. They just don't have a moral/ethical problem with copying. It's not as high in their list of 'values' is it is in Western Civilization. A friend of mine went to Beijing on business and bought 'North Face' gear from pushcarts on the street. Wanna make any guess on whether the stuff was genuine or not?


Thoughts to ponder:

Why are the ethics and morals in China different than here?

Does the West have a right to impose its values on other cultures?

Where did our (Western) sense of morality come from?

Look at how China has treated its citizens in the last 100 years and you won't be pedaling your "morality is relative" crap and asking dumb doe-eyed questions about whether we have the right to "impose" our values on China.

Let me reverse your question: Chinese values led to the death of tens of millions of Chinese citizens during that little snake Mao's pathetic Cultural Revolution. Does that mean it's okay for anyone to kill tens of millions of Chinese, because that's the "Chinese way", and god forbid we should ever question someone's else's values?
post #14 of 116
They're selling Apple products, and the fact that they look like real Apple stores no doubt makes them more attractive to customers, which in turn helps Apple (more customers/fans). After all, they're still Apple's products.
post #15 of 116
Might be Apple products yes, but you won't get the right purchase date if you're interested in AppleCare.
post #16 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by drumrobot View Post

They're selling Apple products, and the fact that they look like real Apple stores no doubt makes them more attractive to customers, which in turn helps Apple (more customers/fans). After all, they're still Apple's products.

The sign should read "Apple Reseller", if it is an authorized reseller. I suspect Apple would require that. The store experience and product mix might otherwise not be the same and damaging to the Apple brand, such as not providing a receipt and warranty repairs on site.
Cubist
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Cubist
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post #17 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"If the products you buy are real why do you care whether the store is a copy?"

Because Apple has a right to control their own brand. If someone else pretends to be them, and then gives bad service, that will reflect poorly on Apple.
post #18 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Thoughts to ponder:

Why are the ethics and morals in China different than here?

Does the West have a right to impose its values on other cultures?

Where did our (Western) sense of morality come from?

Many people alive today in China were raised in a communist system, which has communal property, not individual property.

If you were raised in that system, it might not occur to you that you can't simply copy everything you see, because it might *belong* to somebody else.
post #19 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Why are the ethics and morals in China different than here?

Because they're different from you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Does the West have a right to impose its values on other cultures?

No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Where did our (Western) sense of morality come from?

The same places theirs comes from: family, education, culture, religion/philosophy, law.

A question for you to ponder: where does your uninformed arrogance from?
post #20 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Many people alive today in China were raised in a communist system, which has communal property, not individual property.

If you were raised in that system, it might not occur to you that you can't simply copy everything you see, because it might *belong* to somebody else.

IP law has been around in some form or the other in the West at least since the 13th century.

Has it occurred to anyone here to pay the Chinese royalties for gunpowder, paper, and ceramics?
post #21 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

That's exactly the issue. If they are selling genuine Apple products, can that reseller make their store look like an Apple store?


The real issue is the implication that they are selling stuff with Apple's blessing. If they are not, then Apple may legally be allowed to refuse to cover the products under warranty.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #22 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

That's exactly the issue. If they are selling genuine Apple products, can that reseller make their store look like an Apple store?

It all depends on what's allowed by Chinese law. In the U.S., a store couldn't use Apple's logo and other images like this without Apple's consent.


You have to understand that China is the pirating capital of the world. They just don't have a moral/ethical problem with copying. It's not as high in their list of 'values' is it is in Western Civilization. A friend of mine went to Beijing on business and bought 'North Face' gear from pushcarts on the street. Wanna make any guess on whether the stuff was genuine or not?


Thoughts to ponder:

Why are the ethics and morals in China different than here?

Does the West have a right to impose its values on other cultures?

Where did our (Western) sense of morality come from?

You say: It all depends on what's allowed by Chinese law

Are you are a member of the Chinese communist part? They are the only people who know China has a law: the law of the Party. China also have written official laws, but these laws are only a showcase, the only valid law in China is the law of the Party. We are talking about the most corrupt counter in the world.
post #23 of 116
Sorry about the spell in, but an idiot like this realy provokes me!
post #24 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Even if they were selling real Apple products, they definitely aren't authorized to do so. So either way, they're in the wrong.

They are in the wrong in North/South America Europe and Africa, but the only thing that matters is whether it is against the law in China. It would come down to whether China supports the same trademark laws as the rest of us and more importantly, whether they are willing to act to support them.
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPT View Post

Sorry about the spell in, but an idiot like this realy provokes me!

Hmmm.

Western morality and ethics are fads, they come and go as they please over time or with money. In the most they are held on fear of reprisal. A lot of corporate type morals are based on a lack of being personally responsible or were created through long bouts of bribery and planted officials.

I always find comic the calls of corrupt government being placed on china or Indonesia or pakistan (as examples) because they have a strong culture of bribery and "old boy" networks.

Just because our western governments have codified protection rackets, bribery and made "old boy" networks (lobbying and lunch) into recognised jobs doesn't make them upstanding and right. Of course even though all the corruption and stand over tactics have been made legal our governments still aren't satisfied and individuals seek further bribes, hand shakes and winks regardless.

China has had a much longer time as a constant culture than anything "west", further they have centuries or maybe millennia more experience in governing masive amounts of people.

What makes any westerner so arrogant is a mystery probably mirrored in the upstart teenager with no respect for their elders
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

Hmmm.

Western morality and ethics are fads, they come and go as they please over time or with money. In the most they are held on fear of reprisal. A lot of corporate type morals are based on a lack of being personally responsible or were created through long bouts of bribery and planted officials.

I always find comic the calls of corrupt government being placed on china or Indonesia or pakistan (as examples) because they have a strong culture of bribery and "old boy" networks.

Just because our western governments have codified protection rackets, bribery and made "old boy" networks (lobbying and lunch) into recognised jobs doesn't make them upstanding and right. Of course even though all the corruption and stand over tactics have been made legal our governments still aren't satisfied and individuals seek further bribes, hand shakes and winks regardless.

China has had a much longer time as a constant culture than anything "west", further they have centuries or maybe millennia more experience in governing masive amounts of people.

What makes any westerner so arrogant is a mystery probably mirrored in the upstart teenager with no respect for their elders

You are quite right, we should not in any way insist that the western humanistic tradition has any value! That is stupid! Laws!!? Stupid western talk! Let us rather believe in the strong man!! I am not saying that he may not exist in our culture, but at least we should try to work a better way!
post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Apple should have an affilate programs with these fake stores. Obviously whoever opens them up care about recreating the look and feel of apple stores. It would be silly to just close them down (especially in china where it may take quite some time for apple to cover the country in stores). Maybe make an agreement where they can display apple logo, but must also clearly state affiliate or something like that to let people know its not 100% apple experience.

I think we have those in US too (affiliates I mean).

Affiliate program? Why? That's absurd. China is one of the leading copyright and trademark abusers in the world, and quite frankly they should vigrously enforce internationally recognized protections or be kicked out of the WTO.

Frankly, their monetary policy (pegging the yuan to roughly 1/7th the value of the dollar) has enabled them to become a well regarded superpower at the expense of other nations.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #28 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Affiliate program? Why? That's absurd. China is one of the leading copyright and trademark abusers in the world, and quite frankly they should vigrously enforce internationally recognized protections or be kicked out of the WTO.

Frankly, their monetary policy (pegging the yuan to roughly 1/7th the value of the dollar) has enabled them to become a well regarded superpower at the expense of other nations.

Appreciate to see someone here who see what China is, and they now exactly what they are doing! The crap about relative values is just a smokecreen. Corruption is one of the biggest problems in the world, and China is the most corrupt county around. Written laws in China has no meaning, because the only thing that matters is the current meaning of the Party.
post #29 of 116
racists come out of the of every f,,ig corner tonight ,.


Chinese clients know apple products as well as we do ,
some bot frIends may have bought anyway to fool there girl friends
but i truly believe the ones who did buy were fooled badly

i feel very bad for them

and these knock off artists should go down to google and work there or face real jail time .

DON'T GET m e STARTED ./.


9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #30 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

racists come out of the of every f,,ig corner tonight ,.


Chinese clients know apple products as well as we do ,
some bot frIends may have bought anyway to fool there girl friends
but i truly believe the ones who did buy were fooled badly

i feel very bad for them

and these knock off artists should go down to google and work there or face real jail time .

DON'T GET m e STARTED ./.


9

Wont start you, but I believe the problem is somewhat more structural than that!
post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPT View Post

Wont start you, but I believe the problem is somewhat more structural than that!

sorry for rant
they made 30 fully stocked JVC stores a few years ago with all real JVC stuff ,

Oddly JVC does not have any stores .


some one needs jail time


9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #32 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPT View Post

Appreciate to see someone here who see what China is, and they now exactly what they are doing! The crap about relative values is just a smokecreen. Corruption is one of the biggest problems in the world, and China is the most corrupt county around. Written laws in China has no meaning, because the only thing that matters is the current meaning of the Party.

It is written law that the USA has a debt ceiling but that has no meaning, the only thing that matters is the current meaning of the party. Which is to get reelected, as opposed to governing.

LOL
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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post #33 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Even if they were selling real Apple products, they definitely aren't authorized to do so. So either way, they're in the wrong.

There is nothing that prevents you from reselling Apple products on eBay. Lots of Apple stuff for sale on eBay right now.
This store is on a larger scale, but the same concept.
post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Where did our (Western) sense of morality come from?

The US itself was formed on faked morals.
post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Affiliate program? Why? That's absurd. China is one of the leading copyright and trademark abusers in the world, and quite frankly they should vigrously enforce internationally recognized protections or be kicked out of the WTO.

Frankly, their monetary policy (pegging the yuan to roughly 1/7th the value of the dollar) has enabled them to become a well regarded superpower at the expense of other nations.

Their yuan is not pegged to any currency. The yuan has appreciated 25% in the past few years. If the yuan goes up more, that will only mean they can buy more oil and natural resources more cheaply, thereby increasing their competitiveness.

What do you mean by their yuan is 1/7 of the value of the dollar? The Japanese yen is 1/80 the value of the dollar, and so what?

The US is manipulating its currency by printing lots of money, should the US be kicked out of the WTO?
post #36 of 116
If you bought an Apple iPhoen from the Apple Stoer, then it's probably fake

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #37 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

IP law has been around in some form or the other in the West at least since the 13th century.

Has it occurred to anyone here to pay the Chinese royalties for gunpowder, paper, and ceramics?

They still haven't gotten over that, huh?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #38 of 116
The Genius Bar at the fake Apple Stoer is staffed by cardboard cutouts of real Geniuses.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #39 of 116
Apple will be OK as long as they have leverage, ie lots of jobs for Chinese workers which they could certainly move to another emerging market country. The Chinese (the country, not the race) seem to be willing to steal whatever intellectual property they are allowed to. In this regard and in corruption, it is a larger offender than most but certainly not unique. I am appalled at the corruption in and disregard for honesty and integrity in my own country (US).

Those of you chastising others for projecting their morality on others, you might want to take that sentiment full circle and apply it to yourself. That argument isn't internally consistent. Also those tying this issue to Mao, maybe should avoid throwing stones with the indians, mexicans, slaves, etc standing behind you. Just leave the issue exactly what it is, and that is using someone else's design work without compensation, and trying to pass yourself off as that entity.

By copying the store design and trying to pass themselves off as Apple, they have acknowledged that both the design and the brand have value. If not, they would design their own store and not identify themselves as Apple. If you believe value should be exchanged for value, then this is wrong. If you believe that the Chinese people are living in poverty and cannot be blamed for such tactics, then maybe you should talk to their goverment about maybe using some of their sweet sweet sovereign reserve money to help their people out instead of stealing from other countries. If China actually compensated the US for all of the intellectual property it has stolen, I have a feeling they would not be left holding any US debt.
post #40 of 116
I take this to be inspirational that one small blog post -- or news tip -- can create a global media firestorm. Sometimes this is good. I think of many contemporary issues in this light. Getting an "angle" on an issue can create a sound byte that changes the world. Gen Electric paying no taxes ?! Pure gold. Fake Apple store by Chinese fakers? More pure gold. This isn't news; China has been violating every copyright for 15+ years. But it's the presentation that was brilliant. That type of cleverness could have torn the balls off GW Bush's administration in 2003 during the Iraq invasion over nothing. Just mentioning a point of view.
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