An investigation in China has unearthed 22 more shops in the southwestern city of Kunming selling products under Apple branding without permission to do so.
China’s Administration for Industry and Commerce in the Yunnan provincial capital have ordered all 22 shops to stop using Apple’s branding after Apple China accused the retailers of unfair competition and of violating its registered trademark, Reuters reported.
The agency is also setting up a hotline for consumers to call if they spot a questionable Apple store.
The crackdown on the iffy shops also comes after blogger BirdAbroad last month had posted photos of a store in Kunming, which, from a distance, looked like a genuine Apple shop. Staff sported blue T-shirts emblazoned with the Apple logo, similar to the gear worn by Apple store employees in Beijing and Shanghai.
“The stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn’t been painted properly,” BirdAbroad wrote of the shop, adding that the staff “all genuinely think they work for Apple”.
However, a closer inspection revealed some of the branding was off (Apple doesn’t include ‘Apple Stoer’ [sic] under its logo) and the staff badges didn’t carry individual names.