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Fake Apple Store uncovered in China

July 21, 2011

To say that the iPhone is popular in China would be an understatement. Apple has always been great at marketing its products in a way to make them irresistible and in China they are in love with all things Apple. So much so that some people resorted to violence to be the first to acquire the white iPhone when it debuted back in May.

China’s demand of Apple products has been outpacing supplies even though Apple opened a number of new stores and made an effort to release new products more quickly in the country. Well its seems some scheming entrepreneur decided to capitalize on that demand by setting up a fake Apple store in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in China’s remote southwest corner. It was discovered by an American who has been working and living in the area after she was walking around the neighborhood.

Initially she thought it was legit, “They looked like Apple products. 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,” writes the blogger.

So what gave it away? Well when she went back 5 days later, lo and behold, the store was gone which in China is not all that surprising as the country is undergoing rapid change and growth and she highlighted that it’s not unusually for neighborhoods to change in short period of time. But she was looking over the photos she took of the store and saw some glaring mistakes. Apple never writes Apple Store on the store front as it’s always been just a giant Apple logo, 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”, she even looked for the store on Apple’s own website which wasn’t listed as they currently only have two stores in China.

She wrote that it was “A beautiful ripoff — a brilliant one — the best ripoff store we had ever seen (and we see them every day). But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn’t been painted properly.” She doesn’t know if the Apple products were fake but it seems the employees were duped as well because they truly believed that they were working for Apple.

They say imitation is the best form of flattery but I’m sure this was one kind of imitation no one was expecting, certainly not the folks at Apple HQ.

J. Castillo

Via BirdAbroad

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