Three good-looking bad Apple Stores spoil barrel


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The Independent Online

The cheap, industrious Chinese worker has helped Apple to generate record profits from its range of iPods, iPads and computing devices. But his cavalier attitude to Western business protocol can also provide the occasional headache.

Not content with churning out fake watches, designer clothes and perfumes, entrepreneurial locals appear to have succeeded in faking entire Apple Stores. The existence of the knock-off retail outlets was revealed by an expatriate US blogger called BirdAbroad, who was surprised to discover that three supposed Apple Stores had sprung up in the city of Kunming.

Although they looked like the real thing, the blogger came to the conclusion that the stores are detailed copies.

They appeared to be shoddily constructed, ill lit, and had the words "Apple Store" and "Apple Stroe" in large letters on their outside. Real Apple Stores simply display the brand's fruit-shaped logo. The stores were not listed onApple's official website, which suggests that China's only genuine outlets are in Beijing and Shanghai. "We struck up conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all think they work for Apple," reported the blogger.