Trade officials in China close fake Apple stores

25 Jul 2011

Trade officials have shut down several fake Apple stores discovered by a blogger in Kunming, southwestern China.

Following the media attention, trade officials investigated and found five stores in Kunming posing as official Apple retail outlets.

Two of the five have now been closed as their owners lacked a business licence.

Trade officials investigated the shop visited by blogger BirdAbroad but it was not one of the closed shops. It has a licence to trade and is selling genuine Apple products.

Apple has said it has no comment on the discovery of the fake shops.

The consumer electronics giant has officially opened only four stores in two cities in China.

BirdAbroad posted photos last week 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 shop itself featured posters for Apple products, a glass exterior, pale wood display tables and a winding staircase.

However, a closer inspection revealed some of the branding is off (Apple doesn’t include ‘Apple Stoer’ [sic] under its logo) and the staff badges didn’t carry individual names.