Faux Apple Stores get the official shutdown treatment from Chinese authorities

Faux Apple Stores get the official shutdown treatment from Chinese authorities
An American living in China that posts stories under the name BirdAbroad certainly stirred the pot when she showed faux Apple Stores in the city of Kunming, China over the weekend. While the gadgets inside were the real deal, and not some shady lookalikes as we would expect from China's huge imitation industry, the stores actually tried to mimic the Apple shopping experience in terms of dress code and such.

Even the employees themselves were under the impression they work for Apple. The phenomenon is not limited to China only, it turns out, as such stores have been reported in Burma, Croatia, Columbia, Slovenia, Spain and Venezuela as well.

Alerted by Apple China, the authorities found more pseudo Apple Stores among the 300 gadget shops in Kunming, and immediately closed two of them for unlicensed retail operation. As much as this sounds like a headache for Apple's legal team, since these stores' policies and practices have certainly not been authorized by Apple's ex-retail guru Ron Johnson, it actually bodes well in the longer run. The Apple Store imitations show a vested interest in Cupertino's products coming from the world's largest market.

China has a burgeoning middle class, and luxury goods makers are all scrambling to get a foothold in there, since that's one of the few markets where sales of status symbols like their products are exploding among the newly rich, whereas in North America, Europe or Japan they are stagnating. Indeed, when Apple posted its stellar quarterly results last week, Tim Cook said that China contributed nearly $4 billion to revenues, something that surprised everyone at Cupertino. Have a look at a video below, shot inside one of the fake Apple Stores in China.

source: BirdAbroad & Reuters

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