The Chinese are recognized world wide for their skill of producing stylish counterfeit designer bags and sunglasses but who would have imagined a fake Apple Store equipped with a 'genius bar', spiral staircase and Apple Store trademark wall to wall glass windows? You don't need to. An expat stumbled into three in China's southwest providence of Kunming.
In her Blog, titled BirdAbroad, the expat described her shock when she walked into what seemed like a legitimate Apple Store, with its employees dressed in blue t-shirts with large chunky nametags hanging from their necks. It was only after spending some times inside that led her to believe the store was infact, fake.
You have already guessed the punch line, of course: this was a total Apple store rip-off. A beautiful rip-off - a brilliant one - the best rip-off 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. Apple never writes Apple Store on its signs - it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit, she wrote.
Upon a closer look the expat noticed that the nametags around the staff's necks didn't actually have names on them. She struck up conversation with one or two of the employees only to find that they genuinely thought they worked for Apple.
I tried to imagine the training that they went to when they were hired, in which they were pitched some big speech about how they were working for this innovative, global company - when really they're just filling the pockets of some shyster living in a prefab mansion outside the city by standing around a fake store disinterestedly selling what may or may not be actual Apple products that fell off the back of a truck somewhere, she wrote.
Five days after her first visit she went back to the store only to find the store was no longer there, however, a ten-minute walk around the corner led her to two more fake Apple Stores.
On Apple's official Website you will find a list of four retail stores in China, two in Beijing and a further two in Shangai.