Chinese city orders two fake Apple Stores to close
A pedestrian uses his cell phone as he walks past a fake Apple store in Kunming, Yunnan province July 21, 2011. A fake Apple store in China, made famous by a blog that said even the staff working there didn't realise it was a bogus outlet, is probably the most audacious example to date of the risks Western companies face in the booming Chinese market. The less-publicised phenomenon of unauthorised vendors setting up shop to peddle real products has grown alongside China's manufacturing prowess. Many of the factories that produce brand-name goods on contract have been known to do extra runs of the goods to make extra cash, analysts say. Picture taken July 21, 2011. Reuters

Two fake Apple Stores have been shut down by the Chinese government because they have no business license to run and not because of piracy or copyright concerns.

Chinese officials said they will investigate all electronics shops in Kunming, including their business licenses, authorized permits on brand use and the purchase channel of the store, according to Xinhua news agency.

Last week, the blog BirdAbroad posted an article about a fake Apple Store in Kunming, which drew international attention quickly. In the fake store, their logo, employees’ blue T-shirts uniform, winding staircase etc. were all copied from genuine Apple store. Even some staff in the fake store believe they are working for the Apple company without a shadow of doubt. However, the quality of the store decoration can't be compared to the real one.

The Chinese authority can't do anything about other three fake Apple Stores because their products are real Apple device.

Li, a manager from a fake store, told the Wall Street Journal that his store wasn't in violation of the law. "We have a business license and we are running or business by the law," he said. "All of our products are authentic Apple products."

And some staff in the fake store admitted that "there is no Chinese law that says I can't decorate my shop the way I want to decorate it," according to Reuters.

The customers gave different responses. Some of them became angry. "With a store this big, it looks so believable who would have thought it was fake?" one of them said.

However, others focused on the authenticity of the products. "As long as their products are real it's okay -- after all, you enter a store not to look at anything except their products," said 18-year-old Hu Junkai. "If the products you buy are real why do you care whether the store is a copy?"

To date, more than 5 fake Apple stores have been found in Kunming. The fake stores are more than pandas in China, according to one article on Forbes.