Fake Chinese Apple store has even staff fooled
Saturday 23 July 2011
China's passion for iPads and iPhones has triggered widespread cloning and even brawls.
Now, it has gone further with a fake Apple store so convincing even the staff think they work for Steve Jobs.
The store, in the southwestern city of Kunming, was uncovered by an American blogger who was initially fooled, before she noticed not everything was as it seemed.
At first glance, the signs, computers and layout of the shop all look exactly like a genuine Apple store, says the blogger, who posts under the name BirdAbroad.
Photos posted by the blogger show the employees wearing Apple's trademark blue T-shirts with name badges hanging around their necks.
But a closer look reveals the winding stairs going up to the chill-out area are poorly made, the walls have not been painted well, and the shopfront sign says "Apple Store" whereas the real deal just sports the now-famous fruit logo.
The employees, meanwhile, all genuinely believe they work for Apple, said BirdAbroad, who asked to remain anonymous when contacted by AFP on Thursday.
"I do not know if the computers were real or fake - they seemed real, but it can be hard to tell," she said. "As of last night, the store was still open."
She added that a quick walk around the corner revealed two other rip-off Apple stores - one of which sported a sign saying "Apple Stoer".
The Apple website lists four official stores in China - two in Beijing and two in Shanghai, and none in Kunming.
It has a list of approved retailers that sell its products, but none of those in Kunming corresponds to the fake store's address, according to the blogger.
A spokeswoman for Apple China declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
China is home to the biggest counterfeit market in the world, and despite repeated government pledges to root out fake goods, these are still widely available throughout the country.
As the craze for all things Apple slowly spreads around China, fake iPhones and iPods have also emerged.
The news, however, is unlikely to have an impact on the US-based IT giant, which on Tuesday posted record sales and profits in the recent quarter as sales of iPhones and iPads more than doubled, helped by huge demand in Asia.
Life & Style blogs
Winter crisis in A&E: Hospitals declare 'black alerts' as admissions shatter records, but full stats still unpublished
Unpaid make-up artists reveal the ugly side of Miss World
Christian Louboutin launches £495 nail polish
Google launches 'Contributor' payment service for ad-free internet browsing
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£37000 - £39000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: SQL Database Administrato...
£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Expanding creative studio requi...