Chinese counterfeiting extends to full-blown fake Apple retail stores

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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 didn?t 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 doesn?t make much of a difference for us whether we?re 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 don?t 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    Holy crap... China's selling counterfeit Apple products in counterfeit Apple Stores? I think this is the plot to Inception 2...
  • Reply 2 of 89
    oberpongooberpongo Posts: 163member
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 89
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 89
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Unbelievable.
  • Reply 5 of 89
    guch20guch20 Posts: 173member
    I'm wondering when we'll see a Microsoft Stoer popping up...
  • Reply 6 of 89
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,816member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 89
    This already happened in the United States. There, they're called Microsoft Stores.
  • Reply 8 of 89
    h2ph2p Posts: 310member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 89
    maltzmaltz Posts: 282member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 89
    Bring this to an Art fair and it is an Installation/Performance :-)
  • Reply 11 of 89
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,816member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 89
    marktrekmarktrek Posts: 69member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 89
    artistryartistry Posts: 44member
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 89
    artistryartistry Posts: 44member
    Beat me to it
  • Reply 15 of 89
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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!
  • Reply 16 of 89
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Wow. China. Anything really is possible there. Or, there is no level to which they will not stoop.
  • Reply 17 of 89
    Wow.





    That is all.
  • Reply 18 of 89
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
  • Reply 19 of 89
    Reminds of of Alias where they are all fooled into thinking they work for the US government. lol.
  • Reply 20 of 89
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
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