The tally of fake Apple stores in China keeps rising; at the latest count, there are nearly a half-dozen more of them.
According to Xinhua's English edition, the Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming have uncovered 22 additional stores using the Apple logo without authorization from the company.
The report confirmed that "the 22 stores have been ordered to stop using Apple's logo after Apple China accused them of violation of the exclusive use of registered trademark as well as unfair competition. The agency said it would open a complaint hotline and step up monitoring over market competition to prevent similar cases from occurring."
Initially, the "BirdAbroad" blog exposed the first of the fake Apple stores in a blog post entitled “Are you listening, Steve Jobs?” in which she described the impressive resemblance between the fake stores and real Apple Stores -- a level of detail that extended to the employees, many of whom were under the impression that they were actual Apple employees. The blogger stated that there were some telltale signs and some 'shoddy workmanship' that tipped her off
BirdAbroad went on to say that she'd left the store and found another two Apple Store facsimiles only blocks away. The response from both Apple and customers was swift and angry, with many wondering if the products that they'd purchased were genuine or also knock-offs -- a significant question that the authorities have yet to answer. The resulting investigations from local authorities uncovered even more fake stores, although some attempted to downplay the assertions, saying that they were simply awaiting authorized reseller licenses from Apple.
While China has strict laws that prohibit businesses from coming too close to the "look and feel" of another company, the country is also considered by several Western nations to have an insufficient record of preventing and policing intellectual property abuses.
James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. GreenMonsterUSA.com offers renewable energy solutions from solar to the latest green technologies. Experience Green Monster today.