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Remember that fake Apple store? China's found 22 more - in ONE city

Authorities in Kunming have gone on the hunt for more fake “Apple Stores” – and found another 22 unauthorised sellers.

Image: ChinaFotoPress/Photocome

YOU MAY REMEMBER how we told you a few weeks ago about an Apple Store in the Chinese city of Kunming – an Apple Store that was ordinary in every way but one: it was not an actual Apple Store at all.

The store in Kunming – first spotted as being a fake by an American blogger living in the city – was one of three shut down by authorities there when it was ascertained that they were trading without the appropriate licences.

Another two stores had been identified at the time, but couldn’t be shut – because although they were using the Apple logo without permission, they did possess official government retail licences.

Now, however, Xinhua says China’s Administration for Industry and Commerce has ordered 22 shops in the city to stop using the Apple logo, after an investigation by Apple China uncovered a series of other stories all masquerading as legitimate Apple Stores.

The agency added that it was to open a hotline and step up its monitoring to ensure that no further illicit enterprises sprang up.

Reuters reports that while China does offer legal protection for trademarks, and that Chinese law forbids the infringement of another product’s “look and feel”, it often fails to enforce this law.

CNN Money adds that it still hasn’t been ascertained whether the products being sold in the offending shops are also counterfeit.

BirdAbroad’s original blog postings noted that the fake stores were so authentic that even the staff – kitted out with the same blue t-shirts worn by staff in legitimate Apple Stores worldwide – truly believed they were employed by Apple.

The giveaway to the stores’ inauthenticity was, in fact, the use of the phrase ‘Apple Store’, which was displayed over the entrance – a phrase which is not displayed by the legitimate stores.

There are only four official Apple stores in China; two are in Beijing and two are in Shanghai.

Previously: Here’s the Apple store selling iPhones and iPads that’s actually a fake

Gallery: Chinese authorities shut imposter ‘Apple stores’ – as more are uncovered elsewhere

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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