An American blogger living in China has exposed fake Apple stores thriving in the country. The fake Apple Store in Kunming, the capital of southwestern Yunnan province, looked exactly like those genuine retail stores run directly by the consumer electronics giant, and even the liveried employees believed that they were Apple employees.
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 who calls himself BirdAbroad.
According to Reuters, Apple has only four retail outlets all over the country. And these are located in just two cities, Beijing and Shanghai. Apple has plans to open two more Apple Stores, one each in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple, says the blogger. However, the name tags around the necks of the salespeople didn’t have names on them, it just had an Apple logo and the anonymous designation “Staff”, the blogger says.
The blogger took photographs of the place as well. The security personnel had initially resisted this, saying their boss was against anyone taking photographs.
The fact that China is the largest market for fake gadgets is one of the worst kept secrets. However, setting up whole retail stores faking the original appears to be new Chinese past time. BirdAbroad doesn’t clearly say if the store sells original Apple equipment of just locally made copies of them.