first_imgAfter a trip to New York City’s ChinaTown as a young teenager, I walked away with a $15 Gucci watch which I flaunted in front of all my friends back home when I returned. One friend pointed out that the “G” looked more like a “C,” which was rather embarrassing. However, the point is that some knockoffs are very believable. A counterfeit Apple Store in China has done such a good job at making itself look like the real thing that even the employees think they work at a real Apple Store.The fake Apple Store is located in Kunming, a city in the southwestern part of China. There are only four Apple stores in China, a country with a population of 1.34 billion people. To put that into perspective, there are four Apple Stores in New York City with a population of 8.17 million people, and those are crowded enough as it is.Needless to say, the need for Apple stores in China is great, so fake stores have been popping up. Many of them are obviously not genuine, like the “Apple Stoer,” which intentionally misspells its name. However, the store in Kunming does nothing to distinguish itself from a full-on Apple retail store. The store’s employees wear blue Apple shirts with the white Mac Logo and the white Apple name tags, and the store itself has Apple’s signature spiral staircase, acrylic product information panels, and Apple-looking posters.The store was originally discovered by an expatriate blogger that goes by the moniker BirdAbroad. And, although it might not be an official Apple Store, an employee said the store sells genuine Apple products at the same price as is advertised on Apple’s website.BirdAbroad said that the staff she spoke to seemed to believe they were employed by Apple. However, the Wall Street Journal spoke to one employee that said he knew the store wasn’t a real Apple Store, but as long as they were selling real Apple products so that customers didn’t come back angry, he really didn’t care.So what will happen to the Kunming store now that Apple has most likely caught wind of this? The store may try to become a part of Apple’s network of authorized resellers, but it’s doubtful that Apple will give it the OK after the store acted under the guise of an official Apple Store this whole time.As we know, Apple doesn’t usually take kindly to any sort of intellectual property or patent infringements, which has been most recently battled in court with HTC and Samsung.Luckily for China, Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that handles the majority of Apple product manufacturing, recently announced it will spend $1.6 billion US to open its own chain of stores in China selling Apple products. Not only will this provide more official Apple retail outlets for the people of China, but it also gives Foxconn a double whammy in terms of its profits. The company’s total revenue last year was $6.63 billion, and Foxconn has admitted that the manufacturing of Apple devices just doesn’t bring in that much profit. The stores will help Foxconn make up for some of the loss of profit.via Wall Street Journallast_img

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