China reputation for producing counterfeit consumer gadgets, software and brand name clothing, has reached a brand new milestone — fake Apple stores.
Reported from a blogger who lives in Kunming in southern Yunnan province, she and her husband came across three shops masked as Apple stores a couple of days ago. She even photographed the store fronts and uploaded them to her blog.
Apple’s website does not list the bogus stores as an authorized reseller. The maker of the iPad and other popular devices lists four company stores in China with various official resellers. But, that doesn’t mean the fake store is not selling authentic Apple products.
Some are reporting the proliferation of the fake stores underlines the slow progress that China’s government is making in countering a culture of a rampant piracy and widespread production of bogus goods that is a major irritant in relations with trading partners. China’s Commerce Minister promised American executives earlier this year that the latest in a string of crackdowns on product piracy would deliver lasting results. If this is true, then why isn’t it happening?
Apple reported that China was very significant to its record earnings and revenue in the quarter that ended in June. The company feels they are just scratching the surface and that there is an incredible opportunity for Apple to expand in China with plans to open two more Apple stores in China by the end of the year. One will be in Shanghai and another in Hong Kong.