Twenty-two fake Apple stores have been newly identified in Kunming City, the capital of Yunnan Province in southern China. According to a Reuters report, there’s no word if the shops were selling fake Apple products or ones illegally smuggled in to China.
Last month, NTD reported on two fake Apple stores that were also found in Kunming.
This is one of several unauthorized Apple stores in the area—complete with the white Apple logo, wooden tables, identical posters and cheery staff in blue t-shirts.
One customer didn’t feel it mattered.
[Hu Junkai, Kunming City Resident]:
“If the products you buy are real and not counterfeit, who cares whether this store is a copy or not. The only thing that matters is that their products are real.”
Apple has authorized about one thousand re-sellers to sell its goods in China, but they are not allowed to call themselves Apple stores.
Others buy popular Apple products abroad and smuggle them into the country to avoid taxes, selling them at cheaper prices than at the authorized stores.
But a senior researcher at China Market Research says it could hurt the brand.
[James Roy, Senior Researcher, China Market Research]:
“Well it can hurt, especially if people can’t tell the difference between the real thing and the copy. People might have a bad experience, they might blame the brand.”
So far Apple has declined to comment on the fake stores, but a spokesman said consumers can go to the company’s website to locate authorized outlets.