China’s lastest counterfeit endeavor wasn’t last season’s Chanel purses or “solid gold” Rolex watches. It was an Apple store.
Flagged by a visiting blogger from BirdAbroad, an Apple store in Kunming had gone to great lengths to mimic a real Apple store. It had the sleek store design, employees in those bright blue shirts with the name tags, and products on display. In the end, however, it was revealed through Apple’s website that there is no registered Apple store in Kunming – it wasn’t even an authorized reseller. Because of its exhaustive attention to detail, many of the customers of the Kunming store had not been aware that the store they were shopping in was not an actual Apple store. Phone calls made to the store have revealed that many of its employees weren’t even aware that they were working in a fake store, thinking that they were genuine Apple employees. There are only four Apple stores in China, two in Beijing and two in Shanghai; no one questioned the opening of the Kunming store as many were happy that one popped up in the neighborhood.
With Apple products sweeping the world’s most populous country like wildfire, many vendors smuggle Apple products from Hong Kong, where taxes on imported products are either very low or non-existant. Others just sell counterfeit Apple products at a cheap price. As for the fake Kunming store, a Kunming government official has announced that the products sold in the store are the real products, though where they come from has yet to be solved.
Would you have been able to tell the difference?