Are you listening, Steve Jobs?

UPDATE #2: Click here for updates on the fake Apple store, with video footage.

UPDATE #1: To address the main issue that people have been getting all bent out of shape about: the stores I photographed do not appear to be authorized Apple sellers. The list of resellers in Kunming that Apple’s website has published does not include the locations that I photographed. An employee at the main store photographed has confirmed that it is not an authorized reseller. Apple itself has confirmed that it is a fake.

I will not be publishing on this blog the addresses of the stores I photographed – if you live in China, you’ll understand why. Feel free to email me at birdabroadblog [AT] gmail [DOT] com.


The Western news media is replete with pithy descriptions of the rapid changes taking place in China: China has the world’s fastest growing economy. China is undergoing remarkable and rapid change. This represents a unique moment for a society changing as quickly as China.

You probably read such things in the paper every day – but if you have never been to China, I’m not sure you know quite what this means on a mundane level. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, in the 2+ years that RP and I have been in our apartment, much of the area around us has been torn down, rebuilt, or gutted and renovated – in some cases, several times over. I had the thought, only half-jokingly, that when we returned from a couple months abroad, we might not be able to recognize our apartment building. Or that it might not be there at all.

As it turns out, my fears were baseless – our scrappy little home remains. The neighborhood, however, has definitely kicked it up a notch or seven. Starbucks has opened not one, but THREE branches (that I encountered) within a 10 minute walk of one another. An H&M has opened across from our apartment building. These are the kinds of major Western brands that were previously only represented in Kunming by fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC. Our neighborhood has quickly become the swanky shopping center of the city.

So when we strolled down a street a few blocks from our house a couple weeks ago, I was only sort of surprised to see this new place, one that any American of my generation can probably recognize instantaneously:

It’s an Apple store!

Or is it?

RP and I went inside and poked around. They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue t-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks.

We proceeded to place a bet on whether or not this was a genuine Apple store or just the best ripoff we had ever seen – and to be sporting, I bet that it was real.

I know, you guys are laughing: an Apple store in Kunming? No one who doesn’t know me personally has ever heard of Kunming before. Kunming is the end of the Earth. It’s all true – but seriously, China warps your mind into believing that anything is possible, if you stay here long enough. When we went back to this store 5 days later and couldn’t find it, having overshot by two blocks, I seriously thought that it had simply been torn down and replaced with a bank in the mean time – hey, it’s China. That could happen.

You have already guessed the punchline, of course: this was a total Apple store ripoff. A beautiful ripoff – a brilliant one – the best ripoff store we had ever seen (and we see them every day). But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn’t been painted properly.

Apple never writes “Apple Store” on it’s signs – it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit.

The name tags around the necks of the friendly salespeople didn’t actually have names on them – just an Apple logo and the anonymous designation “Staff”. And of course, Apple’s own website will tell you that they only have a few stores in Beijing and Shanghai, opened only recently; Apple famously opens new stores painstakingly, presumably to assure impeccable standards and lots of customer demand.

Is this store a copy of one of those in Beijing? A copy of a copy in another Chinese city? A copy of a copy of a copy?! While you’re pondering that, bear in mind: this is a near-perfect ripoff of a store selling products that were almost unknown when we first came to China. My white MacBook was likely to draw only blank stares or furrowed brows as I sat gnashing my teeth trying in vain to get a piece of Chinese software to run on it.

Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple. I tried to imagine the training that they went to when they were hired, in which they were pitched some big speech about how they were working for this innovative, global company – when really they’re just filling the pockets of some shyster living in a prefab mansion outside the city by standing around a fake store disinterestedly selling what may or may not be actual Apple products that fell off the back of a truck somewhere.

Clearly, they had also been told that above all, they must protect the brand. As I took these photos I was quickly accosted by two salespeople inside, and three plain clothes security guys outside, putting their hands in my face and telling me to stop taking photographs – that it wasn’t allowed. And why wasn’t it allowed? Because their boss told them so.

I…may or may not have told them that we were two American Apple employees visiting China and checking out the local stores. Either way, they got friendlier and allowed me to snap some pictures.

And the best part? A ten minute walk around the corner revealed not one, but TWO more rip-off Apple stores.

Some store managers may have dozed off briefly during certain parts of the lecture on How to Completely Ignore Intellectual Property Rights:

Anyone from Apple want to come down to Kunming and break open a can of IPR whoop-ass?


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1,016 responses to “Are you listening, Steve Jobs?

  1. pigletruth

    Hey Jessica totally excellent entry. In the end by the way we will be in Hangzhou not Kunming. But thanks for all the advice and info you have given us.

    • Colin

      I lived in Kunming in 1986. Cassette tapes of John Lennon’s Imagine album were a hot black market item, knocked off and copied extensively.

      Wow Now they are knocking off Apple Stores!! Go figure.

      The parking dump across from my house in Denver Colorado was knocked down and replaced by a lovely park a few years back. It was recently named the “city of Kunming” park. The Chinese officials brought large standing stones from Kunming to Colorado and placed them in the park.

      The stones represent and emanate a peace, calm, wisdom and serenity.

      In a surreal way the Internet and I phone culture represent frantic, manic,
      information overload and a dependency on gadgets to communicate.

      Somewhere in this comment there is a paradox but I will have to ask
      Steve Jobs to give me an app to figure it out.

      Best wishes C.

      • Nate

        > I lived in Kunming in 1986. Cassette tapes of John Lennon’s Imagine album > were a hot black market item, knocked off and copied extensively.

        > Wow Now they are knocking off Apple Stores!!

        That’s progress for you.

      • David

        I live in Kunming a few years ago and now live in Nanning. We have an “Apple” store at the Admiral City Mall which I now assume is also a fake.

      • Tim

        Can this store really be authorised? I took its photo in Kunming today.

    • 00 ! Now that is amazing to imitate.
      Would not mean any harm. A small wonder of the world.

      Many countries know if countries take to communicate wit
      h other people will know that this is a bad thing.

  2. BirdAbroad

    Aw, too bad we’re not going to see you here! But I hear that Hangzhou is wonderful. Enjoy, and safe travels!

    • Hangzhou is absolutely amazing! I was lucky enough to spend a month there last year. On a clear day xihu is a great place to go and the 4 storey electronics shopping mall is an interesting experience.
      It will be interesting to see what Lanzhou has in store for me in a couple of months…

    • viscabarcelona

      I’m from Barcelona (Spain) I have been working for months in Suzhou (80 km from Shanghai) and I’ve seen two Apple stores such as Kunming. Besides it is very easy to purchase iPhones, iPads by 500 to 1000 RMB. When I return I will make photos

      • Lo

        I’m in Suzhou as well! Where are these Apple Stores? I’d love to go and take some pictures as well to send home.

  3. I wish i could work for Apple inc… it looks great work environment.

  4. Very interesting story…China is so full of it sometimes…I wonder what Apple will do..

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  7. Do Nothing

    “I wonder what Apple will do” -> They sell Apple products. What should they do? Nothing. Maybe thank them and just ask them to more clearly show they’re a distributor, and not Apple.

    • Apple protects their trademarks, they’re not going to let fake Apple stores exist. These will be closed as quickly as Apple can get the Chinese authorities to act (which might take years).

      • What makes you think that the Chinese authorities believe any law has been broken?

      • yakofujimato

        It may surprise you, but not all police forces in the world are willing to act as private copyright enforcement lackeys for American corporate gluttons.

      • @yakofujimato—

        You don’t even know the difference between trademarks and copyrights?

      • Tom

        “These will be closed as quickly as Apple can get the Chinese authorities to act”…China is a communist country, which might imply that the “authorities” allowed the store to open in the first place…

    • mikecaine

      How do you know they are genuine Apple products?

      • Joe User

        Consider what would happen if Apple suggested that they would pull all manufacturing from China? Do you think that perhaps authorities might take a different view of the situation? I do. There is plenty of pocket lining happening by government officials as a result of the manufacturing Apple does in China.

      • jigs

        @Joe User:
        If Apple where to pull out all manfacturing from China, Apple products would become far too expensive for anyone of us and Apple would not be allowed to sell products in China.
        And China is about twice the European and US consumer market combined, if not tripled.

        In effect, this would mean Apple products wouldn’t sell as good as they do anymore, giving leeway to (cheaper) Android products, which then would overtake Apple’s marketposition.

        Now… would Apple even think about threatening to pull manufacturing out of China? Me no thinks so..
        Same goes for copyright infringements… they’ll leave it until China is coming by and starts making efforts in upholding rights at all (human~, copyrights… same thing there)

    • More brain than post above.

      That comment just hurts my brain. Damnit! If the store is fake do you expect to be genuine (not some stolen or faked) Apple products?
      How about some medicine then? Would you buy a medicine you are not certain it contains the vaccine promised?
      This is a major issue not only for Apple but for the (honest) Western world. Screw those fakes!

      • JP

        WOW! You had me until the “honest Western world part.” We have built our empire on screwing others. The Western world is far from ‘honest’ but is great at protecting the rear ends. Be sure they, we, will do that.

      • yakofujimato

        Yeah, it’s so very easy to produce fake iPads and such!

      • Jon Bonjovi

        Yes, it’s easy to create a fake iPad or fake iPhone but really hard to innovate to make some new. There-in lies the problem with Chinese business tactics.

      • They may have been made in the real factories on the fourth shift.

      • DA

        JP, comrade, calm down. Putting the word “(honest)” in parentheses indicates the poster believes this theft is a problem for the subset of the Western world that is honest, the inference being that not all Westerners are honest.

        I don’t know why this blog post is titled “Are you listening, Steve Jobs?” As if it’s his prerogative to stop this stuff. Last time I checked, the Chinese government is a totalitarian one. These stores will stay open as long as the government wants them to. Apple, who’s the victim here, could politely ask for them to be shut down but the government may be more interested in the tax revenue and bribes it can extract from a grey-market store like this than protecting the intellectual property of a foreign, US-based company.

      • Spoiled Americans

        Honest western world??? lol… is it honest to sell Tylenol 8 times more expensive than the generic no brand paracetamol sold by any drug store which contains exactly the same chemicals???
        You need to travel a bit arround the world befor you start screwing fakes.

    • Fanny

      “I wonder what Apple will do” > probably nothing at all. Intellectual and copyrights are barely exist in China, the Chinese government is not, and probably cannot do anything about it since the whole fake-products-phenomenon has obviously become an industry, feeding so many uneducated & educated people who wish to earn a fortune as soon as possible. Not to mention the Chinese government doesn’t care for intellectual rights at all.

  8. I want one of those ID Holder thing

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  13. CK

    I think you are just mis-informed. Overseas Apple licenses Premium Reseller status for retail operations in areas where Apple does not natively operate. In order to be a Premium Reseller you MUST make your store look essentially like an Apple Store. I know of a reseller in India that LOST status despite doing several hundred thousand USD per year in retail sales because their lastest store did not meet the design guidelines. This status is never exclusive, thus you can have multiple stores near by, and none of them could get that much Apple equipment in stock with Apple’s approval. I’d also bet the proces are in line w/ US prices + VAT, which is only possible if they are getting the margins that Apple grants Premium Resellers. Singapore has shops like those, all licensed, as does Delhi, Amsterdam, Berlin, etc.

    • Q

      Whilst You’re right about ‘Premium Reseller’ status, Apple also stresses that Premium Resellers do not brand themselves ‘as’ Apple, in any way, shape or form. Premium Resellers in Australia make it abundantly clear that you are purchasing from ‘NextByte’ or ‘Mac1′, but never from Apple themselves. Even thought their storefronts often have that iconic ‘Apple Look’.

      Even if this is a premium reseller, They’re blatantly misrepresenting themselves as Apple.

    • same in Thailand where the Premium resellers are called iStudio with iBeat (smaller kiosk style) and uStore (academic locations).

      • Umut

        Yeah, same in Turkey. And don’t forget that you have to write “Premium Reseller” clearly on the sign to avoid confusion.

    • BirdAbroad

      These stores are NOT on the list of Apple’s authorized resellers in China.

      There do appear to be licensed resellers of Apple products in Kunming – most notably, a chain of electronic stores called Xinya. These places always have a sign that says “Authorized Reseller” (although granted, if you wanted to open a store selling knock-off Apple products here tomorrow, I could direct you to any number of places that would happily make you a sign that says “Authorized Reseller”). None of their employees will tell you they work for Apple.

      What these stores are doing is clearly different – they are trying to trick people into thinking this is an actual Apple store. The employees all think they actually work for the American company Apple, when they plainly do not. When these things are true, how are you supposed to trust the store at all? How are you supposed to know if they are real products, regardless of whether or not they seem to be? If you buy a product from one of these places and something goes wrong with it, are you protected in any way? If it bring my computer to the fake “Genius Bar”, is anyone there actually going to be able to do anything about it? I seriously doubt it.

      Places that pretend to be actual Apple stores but can’t provide Apple-level tech support or customer service are not good for the actual company. And the cost of the products is no guarantee of anything – they could easily purchase these products in a less-than-official way and sell them for a giant markup, making an absolute killing.

    • Todd

      As an Apple employee, this is not ant Apple Premium Reseller. It doesn’t even look like a proper reseller more like a ghetto version of the Apple Store. For a Apple Licensesd Premium Reseller to keep his/her license they have to strictly meet Apple’s high standards; which you can tell they don’t meet. Btw, when did Apple have a children’s area? We also, have a policy that clear states you a reseller of any kind are not to advertise themselves as an “Apple Store,” also, they have to advertise themselves an Premium Reseller with a black/white sign stating so. PLUS, as you can see there are no authorized Premium Resellers any in China or India.

      This is what an Premium Resller is suppose to look like

    • There is also no way that Apple would authorize the use of fonts like that – some of them are slightly off. Also, what official Apple retailer is ever called “Apple Store” (or Stoer, as the case may be)? The staircase flooring and the panelled wall are also very un-Apple, there is no way this is a reseller.

  14. I think the reason Apple isn’t doing anything about these stores is because they don’t cost them anything to maintain and they still get profits from the sales because that store is selling Apple products.

    • BirdAbroad

      But Apple only makes a profit if the products are legitimately procured from them, no?

      • addicted

        Unless they are stolen, Apple should be making money off them anyways.

        The real question is if those are actually iPads and macs being sold, or Android based knockoffs. Just looking at the images, I think they are the real deal.

        If so, Apple should still be making money of the sale of products, but I don’t think Apple will allow their brand to be diluted by the shoddy stores. Additionally, the authorized resellers around will not be too happy either.

      • True, and they are actually costing Apple a TON in bad PR, through poorly made knock-offs passed off as “real”, through bad or incompetent tech support, or through untrained staff passing as experts. This kind of thing could definitely diminish the brand, even if it’s only in an out-of-the-way city in China.

      • Bud Wise

        I assume you can buy knock-off apple products throughout China. You can certainly buy them (fake iPhones, iPads,) on the Thai-Burma border along with fake everything else.

    • This is a ridiculous idea as the store does neither sell real Apple products (but cleverly produced Chinese knock-offs) nor will it give any money to Apple (because they know what Apple will do about them if they find out). The people who run that store, if Apple’s legal department can do anything about it, will burn in the lowest levels of fake-retail hell. And that hurts a lot!

      • worromot

        >cleverly produced Chinese knock-offs

        Thank you for pointing this out! I just looked at my “iPhone” that I thought I was buying from Apple stateside. And oh horror — it’s made in China. Must be a cleverly produced knockoff.
        What a ripoff. I should alert Apple about those wily Chinese.

      • I spend 1/3 of my time working in China and they produce knockoffs that would leave wise Solomon scratching his head from a distance as to which is the real one. I know Chinese who go to the electronics markets in Beijing 中关村 (which locals in their misplaced hubris dub “Silicon Valley” – I spend the other 2/3 of my time in the real Silicon Valley) who often cannot tell if they’re buying the authentic product or a bait-and-switch knock-off. The Chinese knock-offs go write down to the fake brand stamp, packaging, etc. and you don’t usually realize you have a fake until the poor quality comes through in the months, weeks or sometimes days later when your product breaks or otherwise fails. Some “fakes” can also be products that failed factory Q&A inspection that would normally be destroyed, but are instead resold on China’s black markets. IPR is not respected in China in the least, the govt turns a blind eye, and it’s up to the business/consumer integrity of the individual to make a difference. Fortunately, I’ve met many such individuals in China, but it’s difficult when you are inundated not just with daily assaults of branding/IPR infringement but also a social mindset that says it’s okay.

      • proof

        Ask yourself this? What is taking Apple legal department so long? Why, its because they know that the product they are selling its not a apple product. Really, ask yourself? Do you think if it was IBM or Microsoft this will happened? NO because their legal team would do something about it because it is a product created by IBM or Microsoft. Apple does not invent anything PERIOD! When you all get it? If if did, then its legal department will be very busy — Apple is a marketing company take what is someone else and sell it with a apple symbol on it.

  15. Is the Apple gear legitimate? If so, how are they getting their hands on it?
    In order for them to make any profit, they’d have to ether be getting it wholesale (illegally of coures, since Apple vets all resellers) or they’d have to be reselling at higher prices than everyone else.


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  17. ASh

    Hello. Anybody THere? Apple are you listening? Just as India and China took our jobs away. Dont tell me they are bleeding Apple.

    • India and China didn’t steal your jobs; you just got too fat, complacent, lazy and unproductive to deserve a place on the payroll.

      • Joe User

        Not true, I’ve done development in India and it tool 10 Indian workers to make up for a single US or EU worker. Chinese and Indian education is based on wrote learning and creates great assembly line workers but if you’re after innovation you are in for a lot of wasted time and money of you outsource to either.

        Companies are figuring this out in a hurry so I wouldn’t be quite so arrogant about your newly perceived leadership position in the global marketplace.

      • henryuq

        That’s what happened right there.
        Another thing, the article does not say whether the apple products themselves are fake or not. I suspect they are not, if there was some doubt about the shop itself being a fake Apple shop. If the products themselves are genuine, why would Apple care? Their products are for sale anywhere, people are falling over themselves to buy an iphone, brainwashed and desperate just like…… just like the people in the West. Who cares if some clever salesperson has decided to renovate his retail space to mimick the Apple store concept? He will have made lots of money before the Chinese law gets around to causing him any problems.

      • Steven

        Are u serious? I agree – India and China didn’t steal anything. However, this has nothing to do with the quality of U.S. workers. U.S. corporations have outsourced everything because of an unwillingness to pay U.S. workers a fair wage. The U.S. government has exacerbated the situation by failing to establish any disincentives for these policies.

      • ASh1

        I agree.. problem with this kind of people is that they think they are the only one who is capable working with Apple. I used to work with one of the pc manufacturer in the use as tech support and this is what I usually heard from them “we stole their job” but guess what? Why are they calling for support if they think they know the job? wink..wink…

      • Steven

        Look at the list you just rattled off: health insurance, short and long term disability, unemployment insurance, etc. – these things are just as much a part of the “wage” paid to the U.S. worker as the actual salary. And if U.S. corporations can get a huge labor discount by paying a lower hourly wage AND no benefits, moving production overseas without any consequences, then they will most certainly do so. It’s why U.S. industrial capacity is in the toilet – we don’t make anything anymore. When steel and other heavy industries left, workers were placated with the prospect of being re-trained for the next big age – information. After that happened, those jobs were shipped out, too.

        The bit about U.S. workers being fat and lazy – just part of the pr campaign designed to justify the whole thing.

    • farble1670

      they didn’t take the jobs. your beloved apple handed them the jobs. the ipad is manufactured in china.

      • Sto

        I would like to be more precise.. it’s not unwillingness to pay fair, it’s extreme accounting error to not pay american worker then pay overseas worker twice than it would have cost originally. Partially it is also high employment taxation in the US, the hidden monster US employers are trying to avoid.. how about health insurance and liability coverage and short and long term disability insurance costs that US employers are avoiding? in the end, they are willing to pay a clear amount for an overseas R&D and avoid local scrutiny.. so sad…

      • Steven

        Look at the list you just rattled off: health insurance, short and long term disability, unemployment insurance, etc. These things are just as much a part of the “wage” paid to the U.S. worker as the actual salary. And if U.S. corporations can get a huge labor discount by paying a lower hourly wage AND no benefits or safety nets, moving production overseas without any government sanctions, then they will most certainly do so. It’s why U.S. industrial capacity and infrastructure is in the toilet – we don’t make anything anymore. when steel and other heavy industries left, workers were placated with the prospect of being re-trained for the next Big Age – information. However, once this skill shift took place, those jobs were shipped out, too.

        The bit about U.S. workers being fat and lazy – just part of the PR campaign designed to justify the whole thing.

      • Sto

        @Steven from @Sto

        Precisely my point. My problem is with moving all (without exception) manufacturing jobs to overseas. I firmly believe that it is an accounting gimmick, that turns out to be very strategic error and mistake to think that this is savings..

        in two words: turn back..


    Maybe this could be behind these stores?

    Yen-Shyang Hwang, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Friday 28 January 2011]

    Cybermart International, a major retail chain in China and a member of the Foxconn Group, has obtained the status as a first-grade distributor for Apple’s products in the Greater China area.

    Cybermart plans to set up 500 Apple licensed retail shops in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to company chairman Steve Chang. The first store will be opened in Tianjin on April 1, 2011.

    Cybermart has 34 outlets around China currently. The IT retail chain expects to add 7-8 stores in 2011.

    Parent Foxconn is a major supplier for Apple.

  19. audi

    As we all are aware, Apple will sue anyone if they did not get the agreement endorsed with Apple. Guys, please grow up and be civilised about your rumours. I know the West always like to paint great pictures about themselves and talk bad on others. Maybe it is time for China totally cut off most of the trades with those countries that like to dictate and interfere on people business. They are the biggest bullies on the planet. China should sell all their bonds, and we shall see what would happen to them. I can’t wait for China to take such measures.

    • Yes, China should cut off their only income. It would be good for the rest of the world and horrible for China.

      What an intelligent post.

      • They could do perfectly well using Euros instead of Dollars.

        The USA is probably one of the biggest forces for evil in recent history… If the wars don’t convince you or them storming into a sovereign country to rm /bin/laden without the permission of the government (followed by them blackmailing Pakistan by withholding aid due to the ‘difficult’ political situation caused by their act of extra judicial murder) don’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

        I’m British and we’ve been dragged into two of their ill-conceived wars of aggression against the wishes of the people, I for one would not be sorry if North America sank tomorrow, heh.

      • addicted

        Adam, considering that most of China’s wealth is held in dollars, a depreciation in the dollar value (which will be caused by moving to the Euro) will hurt China more than anyone else.

        Additionally, the Euro zone is an economic landmine right now. The contagion there is getting so bad that Italy is being threatened (Italy, incidentally, has a larger economy than India). Moving to Euros won’t do anything.

      • Steven

        “I for one would not be sorry if North America sank tomorrow, heh.”
        Wow, Adam, for someone who apparently fancies himself a student of politics, you dispaly a severely truncated memory. I seem to remember that al Qaeda has wreaked quite a bit of havoc on your little island – seems you’d be rejoicing in Mr. bin Laden’s demise, however it came about. But you are too busy spouting indignation on behalf of the most notoriously imperialist nation the world has ever produced. How about the exploits of the British army in 19th century southern Africa? And don’t tell me the Special Air Service has not violated the sovereignty of one country or another or several. BTW, lest we forget, this “force for evil” has found it necessary to sail across the pond not once, but twice to rescue your sorry asses from your German cousins. North America also includes Canada, which also has never hesitated, at great cost, to rush to the Queen’s aid. I would suggest you review and consider your history before you begin recklessly listing things you would not be sorry about.

      • ifly6

        “forces of evil”? Say that when we come saving you from the Soviets (and nukes). Say that when we save you from the Nazis. Say that when you attack us twice trying to reclaim your “colonies”. Say that when AMERICAN scientists develop the computer you’ll be working on in a few years. Say that when we make your GPS and your cell phone satellites. Say that when we FUND YOUR WWII with SHIPS, PLANES, and PEOPLE. You dragged us into 2 ill-conceived wars of aggression (against US). How about the Panama Canal (oh, the USA built it). How about 1/2 the systems in your military (oh, the US developed it). The USA is the biggest force of good in the last million years on this planet. We give away more dollars than twice your country does.
        Okay, now I’m just rambling but hopefully, you get the point.

    • John

      1. Yes; Apple must protect it’s brand and image and should use all means possible, including the courts.
      2. Yes; cut-off all trade between China and USA and any other country that agrees that if they spend the time and money to create products, it is unlawful for manufacturers in China to blatantly copy the product.
      3. It is unfortunate that your news is censored. We “bully” for what we believe in.
      4. Please sell the bonds; I want Obama out too!
      Just remember, China’s reign of manufacturing will be short-lived and you will soon be in our position. I can’t wait to see what happens when the African manufacturers are knocking-off Chinese product!! Let the fun begin!!!

    • For all the armchair economists, do a little research and understand the reason China buys US sovereign debt.

      After you find the CORRECT answer, take a couple of econ courses and go through the Internet and edit all of your idiotic posts about China clenching US’ balls and threatening to sell US sovereign debt.

      Lastly, I will let you in on a little secret. China will be absolutely screwed economically if they even thought about flooding the market with US sovereign debt.

  20. Rich

    I’m an American living in Shanghai, and these “Apple Stores”, not to be mistaken for the Genuine Apple Stores here, are around. I have noticed four in Shanghai alone, and it had me thinking. Does Apple have some sort of distribution deal in place, the sort they have with a Best Buy in the US, with some chinese business org? I mean I’m beginning to believe it has to be the reason, especially because one of these store is exactly 1 miles away from the Official Apple store on Huaihai Road. Email me and I can send you images to post!

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  27. David

    All the Apple stores in Israel are knock-offs’, they’re run by a totally independent company called iDigital owned by icon (pun intended?). They however, have an exclusive agreement with Apple to be the only Apple retailers in Israel. Result, absurd prices, lousy service and ignorant “geniuses”, and by the way, lousy penetration of Apple in this country.

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  32. There are plenty of official Apple retailers that don’t run actual “Apple stores”. They’re all over the place in New Zealand where we don’t have any “Apple stores”. I’m not sure I understand the point of this post.

    • rahhb

      Those don’t say “Apple Store” and try to be actual Apple Retail Stores. They are generally called Wolfes Autoried Apple Reseller or something fancy dancy, and have their own branding.

  33. Pingback: Counterfeit Apple Stores Popping Up In China

  34. gregorylent

    reseller .. probably authorized .. attitude gets in the way of perception

  35. That’s totally a rip-off.

    But, can you figure out that if they are selling the _REAL_ Apple products?

    You know, here in China there are a lot fake electronic products, we call that
    “Shanzhai”(山寨 in China).

  36. When I was in Toluca, Mexico the mall there had an “iShop.” It was very similar to an Apple Store, to the point where people could mistake it for one.

    Here’s a photo I took:

    • mrjoeblacc

      Hello, it’s true they are not Apple stores, but those “Mixup iShop” are athorized resellers.. that’s why they look so similar…

  37. All the Apple stuff is made there anyway, not like it wouldn’t be hard for these stores to get their hands on the gear.

    Hilarious article, love it, nice work China!

  38. Pingback: 中國不只有假的iPhone,還有假的Apple Store!!! | ifanboy | Apple 中文資訊網

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  40. Great story Jessica.

  41. There are authorized reseller stores but they’re not called “Apple Store”. E.g., in Hong Kong there’s Apple Shop, which is a totally legit reseller. Other places there are authorized resellers with different names, not necessarily with the word “Apple” in it. lists authorized resellers:昆明

    If the stores in this blog post aren’t on that list, they could be fake. I wonder if it’s possible that they’re legit resellers registered under different company names but they just put “Apple Store” as their signage.

  42. Pingback: No comment: Faux Apple Stores in China | Iphone,Iphone Applications,Iphone Hacks, Iphone News

  43. Pingback: Kunming Apple Store | I Love China

  44. raaiman

    Many of them in shenzhen too, just in coastal city/nanshan area i think there are no less then 4 of these fake apple stores all in walking distance!

  45. Pingback: China: Komplette Apple Stores bis ins Detail kopiert | :: Alles über Apples Lifestyle-Produkte

  46. ant

    why would you rip off a store….. I really don’t get it, especially when the locals wouldn’t know that these exist in a much greater form somewhere else in the world… you could make a McDonalds for example and sell Apples (haha) products and they wouldn’t know the difference… would they…..

  47. CK, I think it’s you who’s misinformed – yes, there are Premium Apple Resellers but none of them are clear ripoffs of an Apple Store, none of them try to pretend to BE Apple with the shirts and the name tags etc. This is no licenced reseller, it’s a ripoff.

  48. Pingback: No comment: Faux Apple Stores in China | Apple Daily Magazine

  49. Pingback: Además de producir copias de iPhone, China ahora también produce Apple Retail Stores. « Addictec

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  52. Yes, CK, that’s nonsense, this is clearly a rip off. Anyone can tell the difference between a reseller and an Apple store. They are not allowed to make the stores look like those in the photo.

  53. Pingback: These Knock-Off Apple Stores in China Will Shock You | iPhone in Canada Blog - Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  54. They could have only gotten away with it all the way in Kunming. Wow the last time I was in Kunming it really felt like the back end of China.

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  62. pigletruth

    By the way Jessica I posted a link to your piece on Googleplus and it is getting a lot of reactions. If u want an invite to join G+ send me yr email.
    Good luck and sorry we aren’t going to meet up in KM but maybe elsewhere (Israel? Shanghai?)
    All the best

  63. We have a few of these in Nanning
    I always find it interesting how many people come forward and try to justify the breach in IPR on behalf of the Chinese.
    Suggesting that they are licensed resellers – Yeah right!
    That is just what the Chinese want- Confused Laowai’s

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  80. Great … wait tll they fake Steve himself for a press conference in China :)

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  85. bruceleevscheese

    Intellectual property?

    In a communist country?

    Dear China, here is the money we owe you.

    Minus IP fines.

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  101. ukoda

    The Apple store on the main street of Jiaxing is a bit smaller. The real give away is the Android phones and tablets at one end. Still they had good Apple product too.

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  107. Luke

    Where they actually selling real Apple stuff?

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  110. That’s incredible. The Chinese are doing incredible things here in my working-class neighborhood of Madrid, and they’re a small minority. I can only imagine what goes on when they’re in their own country!

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  113. Great article. Having spent a year in Korea many years ago, I had a similar experience with McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc.

  114. zeten


  115. Axx

    Fake it till you make it!

  116. zeten

    This is China. Government and business full of lies and deceit, but the Chinese people are still very friendly, although their faith is only money. I am a Chinese, English is poor, so I used this google translation, sorry!

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  120. This is only possible in China …

  121. Pingback: CHINE. Après les faux iPhone, les faux Apple Store ! | golem13

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  137. Mat

    Why should this be a genuine Apple Store when there’s only 4 (in words: four) of those in China:

    We shall see how long it will be existing. As far as I can say, this should be over as soon as chinese officials support Apple, once the company has made clear that this is not ok/allowed.

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  140. すごいなぁ、中国。アップルストアをまるごとコピるなんて。

  141. jeff

    There ARE actually Apple Premium Resellers in China, despite what one poster said – there are several in Hong Kong which is part of the country of….can you guess?

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  146. Hahaha so good, Steve Jobs will rage when he see’s this…

  147. Pingback: Fake Apple Stores selling Original Apple Products spotted in China

  148. There are 15 Apple resellers in Kunming check this out

    They are just authorised resellers with a misleading signage “Apple Store”. Not a fake one, come on…

    • BirdAbroad

      The stores I photographed are not located at any of the addresses on that list.

      • either the list is not updated or the store is fake. you should provide the address of the store to a (verified) apple employee and/or any member of the public who wants to do the policing.

        since this has gotten quite viral i suppose the regional marketing manager of Apple store in China should come out and verify stuff.

        anyway good post. lol

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  154. there should be app for ipr whoop-ass.

    and: a bird. a broad. a broad bird.

  155. Pingback: After Fake iPhone Here Comes The Fake Apple Store | iPhone 4G

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  157. George

    Can i just say…..SO WHAT?
    get over it.. it’s all just a bunch of commodity items.

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  159. Al

    Well, apple uses chinese workers like it’s the 19th century industry, so it’s only natural that they get hit back (extremely minimally) 19th century style.

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  169. abc

    Apple “Stoer”? WTF?!

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  176. louisn

    Being a Hongkonger, I have to say that this fake ‘stores’ are extremely common in Mainland China. Hong Kong has been a world-renowned city and famous fot tourism over the century. It was a British colony till 1997. If you don’t want get fake products or getting poisoned by those exist-in-name-only so-called ‘regulations’ on the safety of food, please come to Hong Kong.


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  178. What I’m interested in knowing is how this is allowed to go on

    I mean it’s one thing to riff off a theme or an idea, but to blatantly RIP IT OFF?

    They KNOW what they’re doing, so don’t tell me “That’s just the way it is” or “That’s just China”, or “It’s just money”, or “It’s not hurting anyone”.

    It’s not just Apple, it’s everything…

    This is exactly what I hated about visiting China. It’s all a big fat facade and it’s a bubble about to burst and cause another ripple in the world economy

    They work hard, but they are not organized. I could go on, but this’d become a blog entry.

  179. Pingback: To μαϊμού Apple Store της γειτονιάς σας, made in China | Digital Life

  180. Chinaman

    They are selling genuine Apple products at competitive prices.

    Whether ‘fake’ store or not, they shift Apple units sourced from Apple Distributors. And Apple is MADE in China anyways.

    And unlike the ‘real’ Apple store, you can ACTUALLY haggle (ok, it helps to know the dialect).

    So chill….and enjoy Asia.

    • Family and friends living in China buy things like “iPhone 4″ in China and somehow it works on the Chinese network, back when iPhones only functioned on USA AT&T. Those products are not ‘real’ Apple products and Apple never sees a dime from it.

  181. Peter Drew

    If that store leaves out the glass floors, glass elevators, glass stairs of the Apple stores in the UK then that’s a benefit for those of us with Vertigo.

  182. Pingback: [apple]中国のApple Retail Store(偽)がすごい。 | SDBlog

  183. Mike

    I guess they can get away with it, as Apple customers are braindead idiots.

  184. Pingback: Dreist: Kompletter Apple Store kopiert! - sich, eine, dass, Apple, China, über, Kumming, Store - Apfelnews

  185. chen

    In China, HARDLY anyone buys Genuine products.


    because you buy the same product made in same factory for 1/5 or 20% of Apple price. Apple is too greedy, too expensive.

    Only ignorant westerners pay full price. Who care if it is legit, In China, it does not matter.

    Ask yourself why Microsoft sells genuine softare for $1, beacuse we are smarter and do not pay rip off prices.

  186. Pingback: 昆明开了三家苹果零售店 | YesKafei Daily

  187. Wood

    Can Apple actually do anything about it ? How does that work in China ?

    If you go to see a judge about IP rip-off, do they just laugh in your face ?

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  193. KIRF Mann

    Sadly, the employees probably think they are working in a real Apple store.

  194. tony

    And the last pic shows the “apple stoer” clearly real hey

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  198. shnikov

    我是《云南信息报》(昆明的一份报纸)记者 不出意料 将报道此事

  199. Pingback: En Chine : après la contrefaçon d’iPhone, des Apple Store presque réels ! | Tout, tout, tout, vous saurez tout sur les nouveautés Apple!

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  204. shnikov

    may i use your pic?like this~~~

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  206. Why hasn’t Apple done anything about this? Or have they??

  207. shnikov

    i am a reporter from Yunnan Information Daily,i will report it.

  208. Amazing Apple Store rip off! Steve, are you reading this?

  209. Pingback: Fake Apple Store Spotted in China? - Techland -

  210. Pingback: China Faking iPhones? Easy! Fake Apple Stores? Not so easy… | Richard Waterworth

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  212. My wife has been to Kunming and said it’s lovely!

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  214. K.

    Wether or not it is a reseller who is overacting a little bit:
    As long as the “stuff” on sale there is real Apple hardware (that hardware is “Made in China”, thanks for the jobs overthere) those customers won’t care for Steve Jobs’ attitudes towards his brand. And the employees won’t give the least of a shoot too about “fake or not” – as long as they are getting paid for their shifts. (I hope they are getting paid.)

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  218. doofus

    Cheap labor, knockoff goods, fake stores to sell them in. No wonder their economy is growing so fast.

  219. Pingback: The ultimate KIRF: fake Apple Store spotted in China |

  220. Lovely article to read!! We all love China, don’t we!?

  221. Pingback: Are you listening, Steve Jobs? « BirdAbroad « Blogme

  222. Paul

    What’s the big deal, do you work for Apple? I would think this would just make a funny kind of entry but it sounds more like being offended that this could have ever happened to Apple.

  223. Pingback: Chinese counterfeiting extends to full-blown fake Apple retail stores | U.S. World News

  224. Another one for Apple to add to the list of companies to sue.

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  228. Doghat Damo

    Apple are a bunch of arseholes! Bitter grapes? maybe so… I have been an apple user and technician for 7 years, I have loved and supported the brand since the first imacs and ipods… even the Apple newton!

    However after spending a year trying to get a job working as an Apple Genius and having 5 interviews I am eventually told I am not successful, I am welcome to reapply in 6 month. They also told me that they do not offer feedback… well that’s just great! How am I supposed to work on my weakness in order to succeed next time?!

    In addition their products seem to have lost that special touch… that only intelligent, creative or diverse types had and every tom dick and harry as an apple product which is pretty much outdated with a month of hitting the shelves.

    Apple has become the new shinier and more expensive Dell. I have traded my iphone for a galaxy S2 which provides all the flexibility and multitasking the iphone does not.

    When my imac dies I will not be replacing it with another overpriced (albiet sexy) apple product. They have become nothing more than a corporate organisation.

    Apple if you are reading this… loose the evil empire image you have created for yourselves and go back to the fun quirky grass roots great company that you once were so we can love you once more.

  229. Pingback: Me Blog − Are you listening, Steve Jobs? « BirdAbroad

  230. Pingback: China Fakes Apple Store, not just iPhones and iPods | TechGoggles - Technology Simplified

  231. Gem

    The last picture cracked me up! Great article, I see China’s copy-cat-rip off spirit is still around.

  232. julia

    why go all the way to china? you can get them online from china!

  233. Pingback: Fake Apple Store Spotted in China? – TIME | APDN

  234. Imagine my shock and horror discovering the General Tso’s chicken sold at my local Chinese food restaurant is in no way Chinese! Imagine!

    Let’s do a miller analogy (remember those?) China is to Food as USA is to:
    a) Clean air and water
    b) Public integrity
    c) Egalitarianism
    d) Branding

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  238. Alessandro Paiva

    I loved the Apple “Stoer” sign :-)!!! You’ll find some iPhonies there, just like Lisa Simpson. My goodness!!!!!

  239. =)) this is hilarious!!!!! I still cannot believe it’s fake :))

  240. Blimy, I wouldn’t want to have to tell them apart. That’s the thing about CHina, they just don’t care. You can steal whatever you like and there seems to be no recourse.

  241. Pingback: China Has Fake Apple Stores as Well as Fake Apple Devices! - Apple iPad Forum

  242. Pingback: Blogme » Blog Archive » Are you listening, Steve Jobs? « BirdAbroad

  243. I don’t know, maybe civilization has just arrived to the point to where nothing is original anymore and imitation is now not only the ultra sincerest form of flattery but standard procedure?

    LOL great post by the way.

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  246. Tori

    An for sure the quality of the computers here are better that in a real Apple store (at least you can change the battery) and of course cheaper :D.

  247. X400

    Wow im from Kunming haven’t been there in years…. it looks so modern…

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  250. Pingback: Now The Chinese Are Copying Apple Retail Stores, Too

  251. Dr Winston

    what a great article and something I honestly didn’t realise happened. I guess I’m very naive with things like that.

  252. Pingback: Fake Apple Store spotted in China - WORKFORCE HQ

  253. Pingback: Chinese counterfeit phones are nothing new, counterfeit Apple Stores, now that’s something new! | Ipad & Iphone Tech | Ipad & Iphone Technology Blog | Ipad & Iphone Tech

  254. I usually find stores in Malaysia bearing the official reseller sign next to their main signboard. They make a lot of effort to look as “apple” as possible.

  255. Pingback: The ultimate KIRF: fake Apple Store spotted in China | Scripting4You Blog

  256. Grace Chao

    Wow… This is just hilarious. I am actually travelling to Kunming for work next Monday. Can you tell me where I can find the fake store so I can take pictures with my ipad2 for my geeky husband? Thanks!!!

  257. Lmao this is hilarious. It is by far the best set up shop I’ve ever seen, but then again I’m not in China :P lol.

  258. nïkö

    i mean
    the real whole apple thing is a complete rip-off
    so its nice to see a rip-off-rip-off ;)

    folks, i wish i had your problems… …authorized stores… genuine stores… who cares about STORES??
    fuckin’s sake!

    oh and @mr. more brain, good point, the brain-point: cause such (brand-fascist-)electronic-fashion-gadgets ARE NO medicine! so, instead of talking bout brains, you might start thinking. thanx

  259. Pingback: Falsa Apple Store chinesa beira o real | JORNAL DO EMPREENDEDOR | Empreendedorismo na veia

  260. Pingback: Fake Apple Stores open in China

  261. Pingback: China no sólo falsifica iPhones, también Apple Stores [EN] | Grace To You

  262. Pingback: China Not Only Makes Counterfeit Apple Products, But Entire Stores too! | Joel Housman

  263. Pingback: Apple rocks China: Can it outrun counterfeiters? | ZDNet

  264. Good post. I think it is good one.

  265. This is quite an amazing story. I wonder what sorts of “controls” US companies (and other countries) will really be able to have in a country like China. As China continues to flex its economic muscle, will companies like APPLE be told that there are new rules? The world is getting flatter indeed. Very astute observations BTW. (Note: I saw this on Google+ with Darren Rowse.)

  266. Pingback: In China ganzer Apple-Store gefälscht! | Computer Blog

  267. Pingback: Fake Apple Stores open in China (Digital Trends) | Rendy Blog

  268. This is on one hand great for Apple, on the other hand it’s not. First it means that there’s demand for their products in Kunming. But it also means that the Apple-brand is abused by someone else.

    Difficult situation but I can imagine that you don’t want your brand to be “stolen” by people.

  269. Victoria

    Ok I have one major question are the products real Apple products and how do you know you ae buying a real product? I would scroll through the comments but 114 is a little hard to do on my phone.. Anyways, are the prices cheaper? Product quality the same? You should test it out.. I am so curious now..

  270. Pingback: En Chine : après la contrefaçon d’iPhone, des Apple Store presque réels ! | – toute l'actualité croustillante du web

  271. Pingback: 老外發現昆明假 Apple Store | share news

  272. Pingback: Fake Apple Stores open in China (Digital Trends) |

  273. thats hilarious! congratulations on fp

  274. Pingback: la cina si spinge oltre: falsificano anche gli Apple Store |

  275. Great post! In 1993, I remember being chased out of a “Gateway” computer store in the Akihabara in Tokyo. They wouldn’t let me take pictures. The top floor of the store had workers still creating displays – with the characteristic cow spots.
    As it turned out, the next week, I had a meeting with Gateway executives on another topic and mentioned visiting “their store”. Oh, you should have seen the shocked look on the face of the VP Marketing.
    Gateway ended up opening their own (first) Tokyo store the next year, just outside the Akihabara.

  276. GeeDeeOy

    I have spent the last 2 years in Dalian, in north-east China. They have the same thing. I have seen at least 5 fake Apple stores there and more in other cities. It’s not that the government doesn’t know, it’s just that they don’t care.

  277. Pingback: Fake Apple Stores open in China (Digital Trends) | News Bulletins

  278. Pingback: Fake Apple Stores open in China (Digital Trends) | CJDWNEWS

  279. Pingback: Now The Chinese Are Copying Apple Retail Stores, Too « Computer

  280. Pingback: Made in China: Bukan Sekadar iPhone, Mereka Juga Tiru Apple Store — RotiKaya

  281. Very interesting. Great article.

  282. Pingback: Attention, Steve Jobs: In China, Fake Apple Stores Where Staffers Think They Work For Apple » CNN Nwes - A Nation of News

  283. seb_p-dfX

    a copy of a copy of a copy. We’re all copying something or emulating someone. Your fashion style, to way you eat, the way you learned to talk. Who can pretend to be the originator of anything nowadays? We live in a big mash-up blob mass intercopulating. And everybody wasting time to try to prove who is right: “yes,there is resellers in China”, “no there isn’t”. Little ego games.

  284. Awesome article, I loved it! I’ve been to China a few times (yes, I knew Kunming before reading this) and they certainly have a knack for copying. I’ve never met a Chinese person that thinks that copying is wrong, it’s an art in itself. And they have done it well!

  285. Pingback: Chinese Fake Apple Store « News Feed Link (NFL)

  286. Pingback: En China copian ¡¡¡ hasta las Apple Store !!! « iPhoneA2 [ iA2 ]

  287. Pingback: Bored With Faking iPhones China Decides To Go Big: Fake Apple Stores | Penn Olson

  288. Great article and totally recognizable… even in Shanghai there are Apple store ripoffs in these extremely large IT warehouses (forgot the name of the famous street where they all were)

  289. Pingback: Completely Fake Apple Stores Found In China | JOB

  290. Pingback: The ultimate KIRF: fake Apple Store spotted in China - Latest Technology Trends

  291. Tony Warren

    Correct me if I’m wrong but you can’t copyright a store look. What makes a store look like an apple store? White walls, clean minimal design, nice open space, layout of the gadgets on the tables.

    If someone makes a shop that looks like an Apple store and they sell genuine apple products are they actually breaking the any law?

    • They can’t call it an “Apple Store” or use apple logos w/o permission. Just like there is no law against opening a hamburger shop and using a giant yellow M as your logo, but using McDonalds logos and calling it McDonalds would be trademark infringement.

    • mmarulla

      >>Correct me if I’m wrong but you can’t copyright a store look.

      Yes you can. It’s falls under “trade dress” —

      “Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging (or even the design of a building) that signify the source of the product to consumers. Trade dress is a form of intellectual property.”

  292. Pingback: Daily Reading: July 20, 2011 | Elliot Ross

  293. Pingback: The ultimate KIRF: fake Apple Store spotted in China | New Tech Lover

  294. Ben

    This is hilarious! I would have been completely fooled into believing that this is a legitimate Apple Store. I am wondering what the legal implications would be since this “apple store” is using trademarked logos and such.

  295. dthanja

    … awesome story! I can’t help imagining what if all the employees were… CYBORGS!!! Completely realistic except for say peeling fake skin behind the left ear??? I love that you were quick enough to say(or not say!) you were visiting Apple employees from the U.S. brilliant!

  296. Mark

    I saw one of these shanzhai Apple stores in Xi’an on its East Street next to the Bell Tower. Looks exactly the same as the photos you took.

  297. Behold China: Land of the knock-offs and cheap, unlicensed imitations.

    I can give you just a few examples…
    “Final Combat”, a Chinese knock-off of Team Fortress 2.
    These unlicensed “Apple Store” retail stores.
    Various iPhone handset imitations.
    Various Blackberry imitations.
    Various well-known contraceptive brands.

    The list goes on and on.

  298. I’m going to open a fake Apple store in Iran! thanks for such a great idea.

  299. Pingback: Fake Apple stores discovered in south-west China | Benjamin Cohen on Technology

  300. Pingback: Fake Apple Stores in Kunming, China? »

  301. Pingback: think counterfeit « eyes open

  302. Can U copyright a building look, or as in this case a store look (my guess is, yes u can), if u walk around and see a store with the unique design that the apples stores are build around the globe + the apple logos plastered all over the store “you will assume immediately that the store is an Apple Store”. They way the Chinese are building their economy is crazy “they copycat everything” God Damn design your own stuff and show the world that u people can make some real gadgets from scratch “Stop stealing others people work”.

  303. Paul

    Don’t know if it was intentional, but the Fight Club reference is classic.

  304. w0lver1ne

    Perfect imitation. Almost like the real thing….”almost”.

  305. jmaister

    Maybe all the fake stores are soo nicely done that the real one has to take a step back to differentiate itself? no?

    THat coUlD haPP3n! :D

  306. sinn1

    I want to shop their, that is fantastic. Why does this not happen in Florida? That’s it who wants to go, halfsies on a Best Buys, we could sell Windoes and macks products,come on who’s with me? Just think of all of those Sansumgs and Sonie Tvs we could sell.

  307. Well this isn’t anything new, because in my country Apple products are sold in stores similar to Apple Stores but the name is translated in local language, so there is no doubt that they are fake as well

  308. Nick Name

    Relevant legal case:

    Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc. (91-971), 505 U.S. 763 (1992)

  309. fruits of doing business in China.
    Only thing The US has edge over rest of the World in particular was the IP, thanks to our greedy-pig executive who only thinks of short period Share price and their own bonuses have sold that too to China.
    We’re going to pay for a long time and never recover unless our greedy-pigs do not take actions. I feel that our Business executives and politicians are nothing but bunch of pimps.

  310. Omacron8


    This is how the chinese goverment exists. It allows the manufacturers of Apple components, to get the licensing for such a product as the iPhone to manufacturer (Foxcon).

    Then, that comnpany makes the product for Apple, but siphons off the production run, to place in Chinese rip-off stores. So that Apple makes billions selling to the world, but a second secret plant pumping out iPhones for sale in China.. for the Chinese.

    My friend moved his manufacturering facility to china 11 years ago. 5 years afterwards, he gets a call and find another plant, (nearly identicle to the one he built) right down to having the same assembly (his plans)…

    Making his product. They essentially allowed him to set up shop, make & built his product to sell world wide, only to find out the Chinese don’t care about his patents and are blatantly making his product for sale in china.

    All these American business men that moved their manufacturing to china are finding out the hardway..!

  311. I have heard if fake products but never fake stores. Great post…oh wait a minute, was that just a fake post as well?

    It looked like a real wordpress plog, but then why did it was WORDPRESS BLOG on it, they usually just say WordPress. Hmmmmm.

    Congrats on being Freshly Faked, I mean Freshly Pressed.

    Have a great day! Great post really! I loved it.

    Mr Bricks

  312. There’s a new Chinese mall in New York with an “Apple-esque” store. I wouldn’t count them as a rip-off since they took a different name and only sell accessories, but I still thought it was very amusing since it’s obvious they’re going for the same look.

    The other stores in that mall are equally hilarious. I thought they had a Ferrari store, until I noticed it’s a Ferrari “Hair Salon”, complete with the exact logo font:

  313. kamikz

    jesus christ, will it kill them to just try at least building something not more than 1/10th not their own. the “iPeds”, fake italian/french brands, high-speed chinkansen…. please….

  314. Brilliant! We also worked and lived in China and this is very good food for that part of Chinese culture we are missing and left behind, but was the most fun of it all….Their untamable opportunism. Oh yeah..the last picture says Apple Stoer in the sign. We are from the Netherlands and in Dutch Stoer means brave or tough alike and tough and brave this nation is!
    Last; Please let them be, they make towns like Kunming and many like them bearable. Any Chinese citizen with the income to be able to buy “the real deal” will never buy in these kind of stores, that’s a question of maintaining their status and personal branding. Any average Chinese citizen will never be able to buy the real deal……That is what is giving expats jobs and benefits to envy, and the real deal US and European buyers and consumers the ever decreasing retail prices they demand to keep up with their failing economies.

  315. Unbelievable but very interesting to know about copy of copy cats ;)

  316. Eric

    Apple Stoer ftw!!!

  317. Pingback: Fake Apple Store in China | Just a Sitting Duck

  318. Pingback: A Fake Apple Store …where even the employees were fooled | Diary …for deals, details and distractions

  319. Pingback: Flavorwire » There’s an Entire Fake Apple Store in China

  320. This post will probably make me leary of all Apple Stores from now on. I’m going to start poking around the one in our mall…Those guys look dodgy…

  321. At least they’re selling Apple products, unlike the fake Apple stores that Microsoft opened. :)

  322. fireandair

    You know, if this were a ripoff of Microsoft, most of the people here would be applauding the Poor, Downtrodden Chinese for sticking their thumb in the company’s eye and saying, “Take that, Bill Gates!”

    But for some reason, the far more avaricious, legendarily nasty, and self-interested Steve Jobs appears to be the pet capitalist of the limousine progressive set, so you are all Horribly Outraged On His Pseudo-Buddhist Behalf.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s possible for ANYONE to accumulate that much power or money without being morally bankrupt, including the Chinese government, so I’ve got no dog in this race. I’m not rooting for any of these chuckleheads. I just find it funny that if you brand rapacious, slave-driving shut-down-the-corporate-charity capitalism with the right logo, the supposedly “no-logo” progressive crowd will still manage to fall for it like a ton of bricks.

  323. If China can knock-off Louis Vuitton, Prada, and other name brands, then they’re taken the rip-off factor a step further with the “Apple Store.”

  324. ron

    Heck the Pope ditched the fake Bishop last november…… why not a fake apple store.

  325. Where are these THREE shops? I mean the address.

    I see Apple has a few authorized retailers in Kunming. With out address, no one will confirm who you are talking about. Maybe it is just a legal one.

    Further, you say that is a place in Kunming. How do you prove that?? This is really a post lacking very very basic information. Can’t imaging so many people just choose to believe it.

    • BirdAbroad

      Happy to give more info. Email me at birdabroadblog AT gmail DOT com.

      • Bobby

        You are most likely a faked blogger.
        With China becoming the largest market for Apple, they will open even more authorized stores in China.
        Please delete your posts and apologize to the Chinese, for bashing them for no reason. This is just an authorized store selling genuine Apple products.
        Apple does not even care how the store looks. Funny that you care.

    • DropADuece

      There have already been reports corroborating her blog post. An actual employee from the main (FAKE) Kunming Apple Store pictured in the pics on this blog has admitted the Store is a fake, NOT AN AUTHORIZED RESELLER.

      Also, this article tracked down all three stores pictured and verified that NONE of them are Authorized Apple Resellers. Your addresses can be found here in this article:

      And @Bobby, you should apologize to BirdABroad for impugning her character. Everything she posted is true and real. The Chinese that steal others Intellectual Property deserve to be bashed.

      • Bobby

        The writer of this article dared not confirm if this store is selling faked or genuine Apple products.

        Perhaps, a faked store selling genuine Apple products would make it less sensational.

      • DropADuece

        No less sensational.

        You have no way of knowing what that store is selling since they are already being dishonest in trying to pass themselves off as being a legitimate Apple Store. Even if the products are genuine Apple products, they could be stolen, refurbished, factory rejects, or obtained in a way that circumvents the Apple Channel distribution so Apple sees no money on the items. You have now way of knowing, nor should you trust that this store isn’t getting the products from the grey market. Also, when someone buys a product from this fake store and tries to take it back for support when it fails, the store won’t be authorized to do any warranty work.

        This is deception plain and simple. It matters not if the products are genuine. It’s the fact that the store is trying to pass itself off as being under the Apple Inc. umbrella when it is not. If the store lies about this, how can you trust anything the store does? You cannot.

  326. I’m in Tangshan and there are two or three “authorised” resellers that I’ve seen. I think they’re all run by a company called Coodoo. There is also a store that opened recently that may or may not be “genuine” but which is trying very hard to look the part. – Tanghan stores. (they run decent stores and are always very helpful)

  327. china should be the president of the world

  328. Wow, the ripoff really IS quite beautiful. Got to hand it down to China for making a very realistic ripoff.. :D It’s a compliment by the way, if you were wondering.

  329. Ah this is ridiculous!!!

  330. Wow, BirdAbroad, your a tech-celebrity! Need to find a way to monazite your new fame! BTW, all fake chinese iphones and ipads are pretty obvious. If they connect to the app store and the user experience is right, they are real. It’s easier to copy the look than the actual user experience. They could still be syphoned off from the plant, or stolen…

  331. anon

    So what? apple made iphone, ipad, ipod from blood and bones of chinese workers. Can they do anything to steven job?

    • Scott

      I don’t think the Chinese workers were forced to work for Apple and I’m sure they made some cash..

  332. Pingback: The Rise of the Fake Apple Store -

  333. jamey

    Fake Apple Store is a great idea … as long as I can pay for my purchases with counterfeit money.

  334. Pingback: Apple news of the weird: Knock-offs in China | TechRepublic

  335. China, home to fake Apple products — Now home to fake Apple stores! 3 of them!!! # in

  336. Pingback: News – 7/20/2011Brooklyn Art Project | Brooklyn Art Project

  337. Fascinating and very nicely told … crazy, funny, a little disturbing. Maybe we can balance the trade deficit with an intellectual property damages claim :^)

  338. Great (funny) article and the comments are just as interesting! What nobody has said though, which is my opinion, is that Steve Jobs won’t give a hoot. The only people who could be disadvantaged by these stores are the official Apple resellers in China – or at least the ones local to the rip-offs (China is a BIG place). That seems to me to be an issue for Chinese merchant laws, not America’s. It isn’t going to stop the West buying genuine Apple products, and most Chinese don’t have the choice anyway. There is simply NOTHING that Apple can do about this, because it’s happening in China, where US law means squat; so I am sure they will shrug philosophically and take the attitude of most pirated media and entertainment companies. At least mimicry is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery! :) What amuses me most is the awkward position of management, where on the one hand they want to discourage photos because they know their store is fake – but on the other, all their staff think it’s legit, so they are friendly to ‘real’ Apple employees coming to look around. That’s priceless irony!

  339. Love the “Apple Stoer” sign in the last picture.

  340. applediehard

    Yep.. this article reinforces the notion that China immiates but cannot innovate! Not sure Steve Jobs needs to hear any message conveyed by thepost though.

  341. Scandalous! i had no idea you could open apple rip off stores with the same name and logo, how cunning, i would have fell for it.

    -Bianca at

  342. Wow! That’s madness. There must be some law being broken here.. I’m sure it won’t take long for them to be shut down or forced to rebrand. Makes me wonder how many others there are and if it happens in other countries too.. Can’t be an easy task keeping track of imitators.

  343. I think you are correct in saying that that store is a fake. I looked up the locations in china on the apple website and there are NONE in Kunming. Here is the site:


  344. This is AMAZING!!! The fixtures and merchandising is almost identical, are the staff as knowledgeable? Crazy stuff, this is by far the best post I have ever read. I kind of want to go there!

  345. Eva McCane

    holy sh*t. they did a great job faking it. i had no idea…i’ve done the canal street in new york, but this takes fakes to a whole new level. is it even legal? thanks for sharing. i’ll be careful if i ever make my way to china.

  346. BaliThai

    Fake Apple Stores are in Chengdu as well – very convincing, until you look closely!

  347. Jacob Goldstein

    Great post. I grabbed a couple of these pics and reposted them here: . I credited you and included a link to your post. Please let me know if that’s ok. Thanks very much.

  348. I LOVED the line, “China warps your mind into believing that anything is possible.” I lived in Jiangmen, (near Guangzhou) for a year and everything WAS possible. It’s amazing what some crafty people are able to do!

  349. Ben

    Go to find their resellers, then type ‘kunming’ and you will find the store in the blog. However, all the text are in Chinese, that’s why the author didn’t know it. There are 2 premium resellers and 5 resellers in Kunming alone.昆明

    • BirdAbroad

      Actually, I can read Chinese. The main store I photographed is not in this list at all.

      • Ben

        What is the address of the one you photographed ? Are you sure it’s not one of the five resellers who hasn’t got pictures on the apple site ?

        I would love to check with apple too if you got the address. Thanks.

      • BirdAbroad

        If the addresses on the link you gave are the actual addresses of the authorized resellers, then yes – I’m sure this isn’t one of them. Email me at birdabroadblog AT gmail DOT com.

      • Ben

        The addresses on the link are from apple’s site so I guess they are definitely genuine resellers’ address.

        Are all those pictures taken from the same store ? I noticed some said Apple ‘Store’ and the last one says Apple ‘Stoer’ :)

        Please publish the address of the fake shop you blogged about here, even if you type in Chinese Characters, at least someone would be able to track them down.

      • An important question: You say: “RP and I went inside and poked around. They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store.”
        This means they sell fakes? or they sell original Apple products? I’curious…

        I think it’s a real auth. reseller than override all the rulles with a bulldozer. Resellers has to use white furniture, only Apple can use “haya” furniture…


    • Peter

      你搜索的城市 “昆明” 找到 13 家经销商。 This means there are 13 resellers in Kuming. 2 Premium Resellers and 11 Resellers. You probably saw 5 because the system is designed to show 5 at a time and you have to click on view next 5 results to view the next 5.

      Birdabroad, can you kindly reveal where the shop is? If is a bona fide reseller, then we shop clear their name of baseless accusations. If they are fake, then we should assist Apple in taking them down.

      There’s a part I found surprising. If the staff and security guards let down their guard after you mentioned that you were Apple employees and the shop is a fake, then either they have been deceived by their boss or they must be really stupid. In China where everything is possible (as so many of you mentioned), a staff or security guard should have pulled out his revolver and shot all of you and erased the photos. Then again, I’ve only read about this sort of shooting and killing happening in America and not China, so I might be wrong about that. .

      • BirdAbroad

        I will not be posting the addresses of the stores on this blog. Feel free to email me at birdabroadblog AT gmail DOT com.

    • DropADuece

      These stores are NOT Official resellers.

      There have already been reports corroborating her blog post. An actual employee from the main (FAKE) Kunming Apple Store pictured in the pics on this blog has admitted the Store is a fake, NOT AN AUTHORIZED RESELLER.

      Also, this article tracked down all three stores pictured and verified that NONE of them are Authorized Apple Resellers. You can find the addresses of the fake stores here in this article:

  350. Same thing happens with Quicksilver in Bali!

  351. Pingback: The Ultimate Knock-Off: A Fake Apple Store - China Real Time Report - WSJ

  352. Wow, great story and photos. I am shocked and amazed that they pull this off. Do you know how long the stores have been running? Feel sorry for the employees that really think they are working for Apple.

  353. Jess

    It’s like the TV show Alias! In a (fake) Apple Stoer!

  354. Pingback: NewsBot QuickTake: Fake Chinese Apple Store « Giant Robot

  355. Wellington Almeida

    For that reason I think China can never be involved into the spacial race, or right after they land in the moon, give them 3 days and a 2nd faked moon will suddenly apear in the night sky. lol

    Love Chinese people but they have lack of creativity when it is to make something new.

    See you Shanghai in September.

    • pilg0re

      I’m Chinese… so you’re saying I lack creativity?

      • Wellington Almeida

        Not that you lack creativity but yes most of the Chinese people as you quite know it. Not being kind of hilariously hypocrite about the subject. You know very well if you go hit some stores in Miame – US, Ciudad del Este – Paraguay, Panama and loads of other countries you will always find faked stuffs from China. Not too bad, sometimes I buy them but I really appreciate the originality when creating.

        To complete my point, I definitely know quite a lot of Chinese people that are creative, open minded and with fantastic outlook. Do get you self into the bad group if you are creative and willing for inovation.

    • Talking sh** about china = Not cool.

    • Lawrence

      Dude, creativity cost money. Replicating creates money. As a Businessman which path would you take given limited resources?

      • Wellington Almeida

        I utterly agree with you if it is about financial elements that we are putting on the table. But you ought to know that to be creative can generate loads for a single person. Business much more the collective wealth where but for sure that is generating much more money.

        So that is not what I’d said, but being creative still a very good way to make a nice money. If you can be creative and a good business manager so I am sure you are going to reach the sky!

  356. jesse

    So, are the products that they are selling in these stores genuine Apple products?

  357. Earl Wilcox

    Whether you are willing to use the word “brand” or not, when you put “it” out in the modern insta-culture, you risk losing control of it.

  358. This is awesome. Thanks to the publicity of this, Apple will be on their cases. You know they will. Apple is like Disney in that if you work for them and accidentally post the wrong thing they will immediately contact you and tell you to take it down with 24 hours or you’re fired.

    In other words, Apple will be like “Beech, please!” and kick these guys across town. They’ve got people just to do that job.

  359. a chinese person

    they’ve had apple stores like that in asia for the past 5 or 6 years already.

  360. a chinese person

    apple wont do anything because THEY ARE WELL AWARE OF IT. They’ve been well aware of it. Stores like that only pop up where there aren’t real authorized dealers.

  361. Awesome, but who uses mac?

  362. Fascinating! Mainly because we that we are on the dealer bussiness we know how hard is Apple with their conditions.
    Last ones include that the furniture couldn’t more made locally. We have to buy (around 200.000$) from Apple itself.
    But I have an important question: You say: “RP and I went inside and poked around. They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store.”
    This means they sell fakes? or they sell original Apple products? I’curious…

  363. Darbyothrill

    Man, the Chinese have a real talent for intellectual property theft. It’s not a dig, just really the truth.

  364. Sara

    I live in Dalian…there are tons of these “Apple” stores. Of course, 2 of them are right across the street from the giant electronics market, which itself houses multiple Apple (and other company) counters.

  365. Rudolf

    So the store owner decorated his store based on the design of an Apple store to sell Apple products, what’s the problem here? Apple couldn’t have patented its Apple Store interior decoration, could it?

    And BTW, do you even understand the difference between ripoff and knockoff?

  366. mutant_dog

    Dear lady, when you catch your breath, would you care to share your experience of suddenly becoming a focus of internet celebrity ? It’s never happened to me, and I’m curious. TIA.

  367. aproprose

    What I don’t understand is how you decided this was a “fake” store? Was it deduced from the lack of details alone? Their name tags and the logo and the fact that it wasn’t listed? This whole thing sounds like a massive assumption.

  368. asj

    They are following the “copy exactly” principle

  369. Even Chinese food is counterfeit in China now.

  370. Dean

    Saw this on Nightly News with Brian Williams. Really interesting stuff, thanks for sharing.

  371. Really excellent work. I dont know how many comments do you usually have in your posts, but this will make your record, ¿no?

  372. s

    if you think kunming is a stretch, you can imagine my surprise at stumbling upon an apple store in guiyang (the capital of one of the poorest provinces). steve, if you’re on the prowl, its in the mall where the ice skating rink once existed–which was our original plan when we discovered it mid-demolishing.

    hilarious post, you made me miss home!

  373. china pays tribute to apple in it’s own way, more cut, copy and steal another fine example of imitation before innovation

  374. Michael F.

    I noticed that someone said China should cut the west off. Personally I have no problem with that. We dont need the heavy metals in our kids toys,dogs food,formula etc. in addition to the fact that China has been known for decades to pirate anything thats popular and trying to get lawsuits out of it for such things…well I know for a fact thats almost impossible. If the West stopped outsourcing jobs to China,wheat and rice to China etc. until they put a stop to such things,it would change. But the west wont. Its a pity. And as one person said about it being that the wests workers are unproductive., its that you can get someone do do the job that would cost 15$/hr in the US for like 15$ per day. That much I know for a fact as I was with a company at one point that did outsource some of its tech support specifically for that reason,until the quality control was so bad they had to take most of it back.

  375. Robert Nicholson

    This is the same as you’ll see in Thailand with Copperwired. They have Apple Centers and Apple Stores in Bangkok too. It’s just something that license over there. This one in the picture is remarkable as they are ripping off the look entirely. At least in Thailand Copperwired will be wearing their own logo shirts even if their store is completely inspired by Apple Stores.

  376. man

    I’m loving reading the comments. The huge range of informed-ness.

    People who are surprised to hear this exists. (Yeah, all over the world. This one is exceptional only for being well-executed.)

    People who don’t understand why this shouldn’t exist.

    People who think Apple can do something about it.

    People who understand why Apple can’t.

    People who think there’s no harm done.

    The guy who thinks the store must have been real and the writer didn’t know the difference.

    The guy who thinks if stuff is “real” then it’s just the same as buying it from Apple. (Here’s your AppleCare paperwork. What’s your serial number?)

    The ones wondering why Apple should care. (Here’s a hint: They didn’t actually BUY the stuff from Apple.)

  377. Ruth K. Lym

    I forwarded this to a friend of mine who works at Apple in Cupertino, California, and she forwarded it to the group that handles their China group.

  378. Lance

    To all of you who think Apple (or Disney) can enforce IPR in China, you are dreaming. This isn’t your world (or Apple’s world) over here. IPR is 99.99% ignored and is violated as often as rice is cooked for lunch.

    Kunming is well-known to yuppie tourists because of the rock climbing and the close proximity to Vietnam. Also, IPR has never been a popular concept in China, so this is not surprising at all. I see dozens of shops with poorly crafted white bite logos selling Apple products on every street corner in Shanghai, have seen them for the whole six years I’ve been here. Using signs with the actual words “Apple Stoer” [sic] is something I haven’t seen before. I sent email to Steve Jobs five years ago about Apple sports shoes in China using the bite logo, but it seems they don’t care, since they have little chance of successfully defending their rights in China. Curious to know if those “Apple Stoers” are selling any Mac software discs, especially if they have Snow Leopard or Lion DVDs for typical street prices. Only the real Apple store in Shanghai has Mac OS DVDs out on display, but without the give-away pricing you see on all street vendor pirated discs. The wannabee shops will offer to burn you a copy (with an outrageous price compared with typical pirate software), but are not putting it out on display — especially not for the same price as Windows 7 on the street (5-8 RMB or US$0.75-$1.25).

  379. Just Saying

    This is clearly an Apple distributor, with distributor rights. I get what you tried to do but I think you should be a little bit more professional and check the facts before trying to “break” some headline news about an issue that doesn’t exist. There are many cases like this one around the world where regional distributors open stores following certain Apple aesthetic and service guidelines.

    • BirdAbroad

      The stores I photographed are not on the list of official resellers in Kunming that Apple itself published.

      • Bobby

        No big deal. Just another failed China-bashing attempt.

      • Cliff

        Trying to side-step the issue? Just Saying brought up the valid point of checking the facts, actually researching the company and requesting an official response from Apple Corp. Simply putting as “fact” from what you saw/experienced/photograph does not make it true. All we read are your assertions and references to the Apple website. Entertaining piece, especially for those China/India bashers (they’ll eagerly lap it all up – “serve them right cos they stole my job!”, “duh, 10 of them not even close to matching 1 of us geniuses”), but if you want it to be legit, this kind of “research” just doesn’t cut it.

    • DropADuece

      I’ll keep posting this over and over until you people quit bashing the author of this blog. She’s telling the truth.

      These stores are NOT Official resellers.

      There have already been reports corroborating her blog post. An actual employee from the main (FAKE) Kunming Apple Store pictured in the pics on this blog has admitted the Store is a fake, NOT AN AUTHORIZED RESELLER.

      Also, this article tracked down all three stores pictured and verified that NONE of them are Authorized Apple Resellers. You can find the addresses of the fake stores here in this article:

  380. quique lomeli

    There’s a Hard Rock Cafe in Cancun, México, and for several years thousands of tourist bought real fake t-shirts, it was a copy of a HRC, so well done that the people in London decided to sell them a franchise, and now is a legit store, I’ve always wondered if they supplied with legit memorabilia or if they keep the fake ones hanging on the walls.

    Some years later a wise guy went to Cuba and saw a bussiness opportunity in “La Bodeguita de Enmedio” the iconic bar where Hemminway drank his mojitos; the guy came back to México and realized that the name wasn’t registered by the cuban gov. so he launches his own 100% legal franchise company selling the name “La Bodeguita de Enmedio” in a counry that happens to love all cuban related things.

  381. Cletus Jones

    What’s Apple going to do about this? They’ll probably try to use their corporate might to shut these stores down and seek compensation, thus leaving the proprietors of these fake stores to crawl away with their tails between their legs. Intellectual rights will be enforced and all will be well.

    Here’s the reality : Apple’s going to use their corporate might to shut these stores down and seek compensation. The proprietors of these fake stores probably have powerful connections and lobbies the Chinese Government. The Chinese government clamps down on the factories manufacturing Apple products in China. Apple crawls away with their tail between their legs because it’s not worth jeopardizing the “good” arrangement they have with Chinese manufacturing by chasing after “small fry”.

    It sucks, but that’s what I think will probably happen.

  382. Many years ago, I spend some time traveling (1987) and working (1989-90) in China… I even went to Kunming. While in Kunming I got sick drinking bottled soda that was sold on the street… while I was laid up with the worst case of dysentery I ever had, I read a Travel book that said many people bottled their own soda at home and sometimes they would just use tap water, which could easily cause dysentery… (and in my case it did). So I physically understand the damage counterfeiting can do.

    I am not surprised at what China allows. I believe the Chinese government will do whatever it takes to become THE World Super-power. I know many people out there will just think this counterfeit Apple Store is the result of an unscrupulous Chinese businessman… and it might (but I believe that the Chinese government will allow this theft if it will benefit China).

  383. Cletus Jones

    PS. I wouldn’t be surprised if the products being sold are genuine apple products because they probably came from the same factory!

  384. V

    Unless all the products in this store are fake or stolen, Apple Channel (the division responsible for all the Authorized Preferred Reseller branches, as well as store-in-store displays) surely knows about this store, even if it’s not on the list of authorized stores on the website. Though perhaps they didn’t follow up after the store opened – the employees definitely shouldn’t have the T-shirts and badges…

  385. Simon

    It’s China…there are intellectual property rights?

  386. Brad

    Lived in China for 5 years and you are right. Expect anything. It is very possible a building or business that was there last week is gone and a completely new building standing in its place. My wife is Chinese and after 3 years living in the U.S. she finaly has decided that drinking cold water is nicer then drinking hot water. Good luck and great post

  387. nik

    Hilarious!! Of course it’s the ultimate compliment… Apple popular in China or what?

  388. Holy Geez!
    That’s craziness. If I do recall correctly though I once heard that in China imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and that there is really no such thing as copyrights over there. I however believe no one at Apple would be flattered;). Part of me can’t imagine they don’t know though. Maybe they are just letting these stores do their advertising and if they do well then Apple will shut them down and set up shop. I can tell the guy in the blue “Apple” shirt was not pleased being photographed. Clever that you told them that you may (or may not…:) ) be American Apple employees. Don’t know that I would have been that quick on my feet. Congrats on being FP!

  389. John Egger

    OK. These are legit Apple resellers. Apple isn’t going to open stores all over China. They’d rather just let local people do it.

    You can find a list of stores at
    There it says: Apple 授权经销商是独立机构,并不由 Apple 运营。
    “These stores are independent retailers who have acquired the right to resell Apple products, and are not associated with Apple.”

    Now, maybe the agreement was for these stores to display “reseller” prominently. But it doesn’t really matter. There may also be actual fake stores selling fake products, or shoddy genuine products that didn’t pass QA testing. But you can’t tell them apart.

  390. jamii

    China = Plagurise

  391. megmraz

    Whoa. How’d they get all of that stuff? The advertising, the set-up, the products, etc.? Crazy. When I was in China, I didn’t find a fake Apple store, but I did find two funny things:
    – A camera store selling fake Canon products (they had cleverly tilted the “o” in Canon a different way so that only a truly discerning eye could tell).
    – A lady had tiles in her bathroom, each with its own little painting of a piece of fruit. All the fruit looked sort of realistic… except for the apple… which was just the Apple logo facing backwards. Shameless.

  392. Sounds like the iStores I saw all over South Africa.

  393. Stephen Frost

    The Chinese press have picked this up:

  394. This proves China can do everything. You may never know if they send their Neil Armstrong to the moon and prove that he’s American :)

  395. Pingback: Hao Hao Report

  396. John

    Apple wants free promotion through those pirate stores, otherwise they would have been shut down by now

  397. This how it works. The factories that make the real products for Apple, Ping (golf clubs) etc just crank up their factories at night or whenever and produce larger quantities than the ship to the legitimate companies warehouse. e.g. Three for you one for me, Three for you, one for… Then they sell them to countries who allow parallel importing (like NZ) or in the Chinese markets or to brokers. You can buy a set of REAL golf clubs for $100 in China (And they are the real thing!)…

  398. When I lived in Hangzhou, I figured that if I bicycled from end to end and then started over again, everything would have been rebuilt. My return after a year away was like moving to a new city. Oh, and I saw a vehicle that proudly claimed to be a Volov. Um, pirating Volvos? Why not?


    I want me some Ipad2 from the Apple China store. I wonder what it will cost me online if I was to order? at the most maybe $150 bucks. YAY! Just got myself an Ipad2 china made hehehehe.

  400. i actually dont see the problem with stores besides apple seling apple products, its done all over the world. hong kong has many ‘apple’ stores ( there is not an official store there).
    when people buy the computers they can register and buy apple care. at this point it becomes clear whether or not its a ‘genuine’ apple product.
    i too live in yunnan. and i’ve brought my mac to the beijing apple store for repairs and was appalled at the service. they actually recommended that i visit an apple repair center that was not owned by apple , i did and these people were great, super professional and quick.

    americans are obsessed with brand names. they love their hiltons,starbucks and wallmarts ( theres is now a wallmart near our little rural village!)…but the chinese are actually capable of doing a much better job . they are super smart and motivated. and it wont be long before we will see ‘fake’ chinese brand shops in denver and los angeles.

    henrik drescher ( dali,yunnan)

  401. Lawrence

    I dunno aye…Is there like a trademark on the “official apple store”. Is there something that says “Your store cannot look like a proper apple store if you are a reseller”.

    Atm this post fails to deliver anything of value. Maybe if you can confirm that the products are fake/counterfeit then i give ur post a thumbs up.

  402. Saw the pictures and your story during the NBC piece earlier tonight—Excellent job, by the way! Best Regards.

  403. I recently went to Cancun, Mexico, and went to a store very similar to this. They were selling iPhones, Macbooks, iPods, etc. It said Apple Store in the front and seemed to sell Apple name brand electronics. The store was located in a well versed shopping mall in the heart of Cancun along with other name brand company stores, I.E; Puma, Nike, Chili’s, Cinemark Theatres, Hooters, McDonalds, Lacoste, etc. The only thing is on Apple’s website, they didn’t even list Mexico as one of the countries they had stores in.

  404. Why would anyone need to get from authorized retailer ?

    I worked as one of the staff at a very well known authorized reseller in Singapore. Seriously, u can get a better deal elsewhere.

    For Apple, authorized reseller rips Apple off by selling those third party products. Furthermore, if Apple is so lazy as not to open a native store, then serves them right.

    Btw, fake stores appear in Singapore too !

  405. China Rez

    are you living in a cave, these stores have been all over China for a while, and 99% of them are selling real Apple products and are authorized Apple resellers. You must be really ignorant to be living in China and just now see these store.

    Such a shame that this is being picked up around the world and put on the news.

  406. Your hits must be through the roof!!!! Congrats on Freshly Pressed and nationwide news articles :P

  407. liber202

    For anything coming out of China, we need to think 10 times before making a purchase. If they can fake the Apple store, they can fake anything. I don’t understand how can they be proud of themselves?

    The world’s fastest growing economy can one day become the world’s fastest collapsing economy if this kind of attitude continues.

  408. catchafallingstar

    I’m sure you know this by now, but Yahoo! wrote an article about your article.

  409. Donald

    Oops. Major typo. I meant to say North Korea (not South Korea), of course. :)

  410. Lawrence

    The approximate location of the Apple shop in this post can be found by googleling “E-Land kunming”

  411. I don’t think he’s listening…yet :)

  412. made for a very interesting read, good stuff

  413. Lance

    Who owns the server at “”? Not Apple, as far as I know. Even if it does turn out to be a genuine Apple server, I notice it only lists resellers in the Americas, so that’s why no China or India. The real server in the U.S. is In China, it is
    Look here to find a reseller in the U.S.:

    Look here to find a reseller in China:

  414. Wow, this is an eye opener. I learn and discover a lot from your post and even to the interaction in the comments. Thank you for opening this topic.

  415. Great review, and thanks for the update. So how would I know that the product i bought is genuine?

  416. Well first things first, congrats on making national news. Secondly, before I even clicked on the link at Yahoo news I knew this had to be in China! I spent some time in Hebei province and came across a fake Starbucks and after a quick search found out that this is quite the norm in China. I had a feeling it was fake to begin with (Hidden in the back of a Dell store, Starbucks signs hung up with rope, etc.) but after a search at the company’s website, my suspicions were confirmed.

  417. China is not keen on piracy and originality. Here in our country, there are lots of “China phones”, which look like phones by Apple but you’ll easily know they aren’t legit since they’re too cheap.

  418. “Our Country” is Philippines, not China. Just making it clear.

  419. Grant

    you didnt happen to see any rip off Microsoft Stores’s then, hehehehehe

  420. In fact, they are retail stores but resellers. Here,

    input city name in it and you’ll find there are many resellers in each city.

  421. Grace Chan

    But… If production occurs in China, the product from these bootleg (albeit well disguised) Apple stores may very well sell the real thing. I mean, they often sell “genuine” products in stores(ie. phones, electronics, accessories, clothing) that were manufactured in China, they just simply were not passed through the company themselves, or distributed through a licenced distributor, essentially stolen property.
    So, although these poor souls are being laughed at for artificially working for Apple, they might be selling the real thing..?
    Of course, I’m Chinese, what would I know? :)

  422. Brent

    Dear All. I am in Hangzhou Now. Good news for hearing the HANGZHOU at here. bad news for the fake APPLe store.. THe lucky point is the products at there are genuine…. Though heaps fake products here. hahahha

  423. ttlook

    Fake Apple Store??

  424. James

    Chinese products are cheap, but can be either fake or toxic. Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish!

  425. Nice article, fun to read ;) keep ‘m coming

  426. Ger

    you get what you pay for, what ever faked iphone, or apple store.

  427. Dan

    Just an FYI…Kumming is not a small city. It has about 6 million people. It also has some of the best weather in all of China. They call it the Eternal Spring because it doesn’t get too cold or too hot.

  428. D.

    Why the arrogance? Whose pockets are people filling who work for ‘genuine’ Apple stores? Seriously, why all the bitterness? Someone had a good idea and is riding the wave. Let them.

  429. I just saw this on twitter via the la times! Great job! Kudos on the investigative reporting!

  430. Wow, your article really did great! I was surfing the net and most people were busy talking about your latest visit to China and how you discovered the Apple Store there! Great find, if you ask me.

  431. this is unbelivable! :O did you notice in the last picture they spelled “store” “stoer” that could have been a clue it was fake too haha so what are the products? just imitations?

  432. light487

    I’m surprised at how surprised so many people here are…. is it really that surprising..? Honestly? I guess when you never look outside your own country with its high morals and “perfection” as you see it, you forget that there is the rest of the world out their with its “own” high morals and perfection.

    Ignorance, such blissful ignorance.

    Good on you China.. and I’m sure if Apple puts some weight on China, all that will happen is some token gesture to shut down a handful of these stores; plaster the news reports of the closures all over the place and then it’s back to business as usual and hopefully those pesky western corporations will go away and leave China to itself.

  433. .....

    To those who have an apple product which you think you have purchased it in US or I can say that you have a genuine one. Do you mind to check where it was made?

    • On genuine Apple products we’re never told where it’s ‘made’ only the place they we’re ‘assembled’ and in recent years they’ve all been “assembled in china” (shanghai to be exact). If you are worried, you should visit the Apple site and check the serial number for warranty coverage.

  434. Ryan

    This has been photoshopped. The picture that says “Apple Stoer”, if you look in the reflection you can clearly see a mirrored image of the word “Store”.

    • BirdAbroad

      It was written twice across the outside of that store, once below (“Store”) and once above (“Stoer”). The last two photos on the post are of the same place.

      The great thing about China is that it doesn’t need photoshopping – it’s hilarious just as it is. :)

      • This made it into the news in The Netherlands
        And I really had to laugh about the ‘Apple Stoer’ as in Dutch ‘stoer’ means ‘tough’ – So tough luck to find an authentic Apple product in that store ;)

      • Bobby

        The writer of this article dared not confirm if this store is selling faked or genuine Apple products.

        Why it is so hard to confirm if this store is selling real Apple products?

        Perhaps, a faked store selling genuine Apple products would make this blog less sensational.

        The author is trying to give people the impression that this faked store is selling faked products, when it is selling genuine products.

      • DropADuece

        No less sensational.

        You have no way of knowing what that store is selling since they are already being dishonest in trying to pass themselves off as being a legitimate Apple Store. Even if the products are genuine Apple products, they could be stolen, refurbished, factory rejects, or obtained in a way that circumvents the Apple Channel distribution so Apple sees no money on the items. You have now way of knowing, nor should you trust that this store isn’t getting the products from the grey market. Also, when someone buys a product from this fake store and tries to take it back for support when it fails, the store won’t be authorized to do any warranty work.

        This is deception plain and simple. It matters not if the products are genuine. It’s the fact that the store is trying to pass itself off as being under the Apple Inc. umbrella when it is not. If the store lies about this, how can you trust anything the store does? You cannot.

        And Bobby unless you have personally inspected every product that store has sold, you cannot make the statement that the store is in fact, selling genuine Apple products. Quit being a homer and just admit that what is going on here is wrong.

  435. Steve Jobs debería denunciar esta clase de cosas en lugar de estar perdiendo el tiempo con sus litigios hacia HTC por las patentes.

    Una cosa es que compres algo a sabiendas de que es falso. Otra cosa es vender algo a sabiendas de que probablemente el comprador sea inconsciente de la falsificación que está adquiriendo.

    Seguro que más de algun pobre desgraciado sale de la tienda muy contento pensando que se ha llevado un “auténtico” iPhone 4.

  436. Jeremy

    I lived in Hohhot (Huhehaote) in 2009-2010. I didn’t go in, but I’m pretty sure I saw at least one Apple Store (which was obviously fake, I now realize).

  437. Yew Idiots

    no one will read the comments

  438. What’s wrong? Means they r not selling original Apple products or not authorised Apple reseller? If not authorised, not wrong to sell as long products are not fakes, if they are selling fakes, they won’t allow the author to take pics after she (may or may not) identify herself as a fake Apple employee.

  439. Before we get too carried away here, which of apple’s rights are being egregiously violated? the right to design cool hip stores? do they have a patent for that? (yes their retail logo is being stolen, what a shock. it’s done every day in NYC too to LV, DKNY etc) and unless the merch is in fact 100% fake or 100% stolen, then they somehow bought real apple products from apple (at some point in the supply chain).

    so i guess the real apple right that is being violated is the right to have fanboys/girls all over the world who only buy merch directly from the mothership and dr. s. jobs. think different indeed.

  440. Gill Bates

    When I was in China in 2009 I bought an iPhone from an electronics mall in Dalian. I made one call out to make sure it worked, and it passed the test. And that was about all it did. When I got it home and tried to use it, the UI was next to unresponsive and in the end I put it on the street and let cars run over it.

    When I bought it, I wasn’t sure if it was an Apple product or not, but I thought it would at least work, but no, it was a total POS. I paid about $200 for it, and together with the $120 I had pick-pocketed from me, I lost $320 to overt thieves and more to the crooks and cheats who don’t live up to their commitments.

    Intellectual property rights are a joke, on the campus of Peking University, allegedly their No. 1 university, you can take a text book to the local print shop and have a copy by afternoon, no questions asked. Of course, someone will plagiarize something from the forged text book for their assignment or for their PhD.

    I’ve been there three times and once was enough. It’s a place with no principles whatever, other than to make money by any means.

  441. Totally amazing. I live in Shanghai; I’m no stranger to ripoffs of any kind. You just gotta admit, the Chinese excel at this kind of stuff.

  442. guest

    It seems our Western laws – copyright, patents, trademarks – are increasingly limited to our Western world only. And imposing our will upon others is no longer an option.

  443. Jos

    NIce, but who cares? Why is Apple creating such a news to everybody? Its a manufacturer of hard- and software, that’s it.

  444. Unbelievable but also so expected..they copy everything!

  445. My wife and I are living abroad in China as well (we’ve just passed the one year mark) and everything you say is totally true! lol

    I laugh a lot at what I see in U.S. headlines about China. They really need to get people who live here to write for them.

  446. Great post, but is this your actual blog or a copy?

  447. It’s Apple own fault. They are to expensive.

  448. You’ve made it into mainland news in a big way. I just did a quick search in Baidu news, but the URL is too long to paste and it seems I can’t insert a link here. Nevertheless, if you search for “昆明苹果商店” (Kunming Apple Store) about half a dozen of the articles that come up on the first page are based on your blog (most of them from online tech sites). My favourite is this one (, which shows the official store in Sanlitun. I liked this one as well (; the title actually used the English “Apple Stoer” in the Chinese title. Someone clearly has a sense of humour…

    It’s interesting that all the stories in Chinese (that I looked at) agree wholeheartedly that the stores you photographed are fake. One of them even related it to the Da Vinci sofa scandal (in which a retailer of expensive foreign sofas has been accused of producing some of their products in local factories).

  449. awww, they perfected the art of imitation. great post btw!

  450. Hello, this is Andrew Webb from the BBC News website again. Could we run your photos with a credit. Also, have you shot video. My email is

  451. Lol beautiful!

    Going there next week!!!

    I am all packed, just waiting to install my hair feathers from

  452. wow … BirdAbroad you must be plaesed … Channel4 and BBC taking your story … nice one!

  453. Thank you for posting this. I did a post with link back. You are famous by now!

  454. Ironically the iPhone 4 from this store doesn’t come with all those dropped call problems….hey also looks a lot like the apple store over here in Wagga Wagga, Australia! :)

  455. TL

    Lol, I love that last picture… “Apple Stoer”… gotta love China!

  456. KJ

    Maybe it’s time ot move production back to the Weest, where there’s at least a pretense of law and order?

    Otherwise, this is the price Apple pays for slave wages and worker exploitation.

  457. lala

    No surprise.. apple products are made in china…my iclone most likely came from the same factory.

  458. johnmperry

    A friend of mine bought a can of fake Heinz Baked Beans in Guangzhou

  459. Sean

    Hah, props to the writer for the find and the store for the detailed copying…

    More amazing, though, are the once again die hard apple fans crying crimes against humanity. From their perceived Western moral high horse, poking fun at the seemingly ignorant Chinese. It’s simply a different world there and their values and standards are different from our western standards.

    Btw, your and my real iPhones and other Apple products ARE made in China. They are just designed in California, get a clue.

  460. This is amazing – and hilarious! Good work!

  461. Kelvin

    Seriously, have you heard something called Apple Authorized Retailer?

  462. Did anyone check if these stores are certified Apple Resellers? Don’t you think it’s possible that they might just be resellers that went all out in the design?

  463. This was amazing to see, great article, right on the spot ! It’s amazing how they (Chineese) can copy everything, they are very eficient, though in the long run it’s not really that helpful! I wonder how come they don’t try more to create/invent their own brands .. and seriously increase the quality of products – this would be a much greater long term strategy – but i guess nowadays everything it’s about speed and quick profit ..

  464. spencerrae

    This is fascinating :) Great read. Thanks for the post! Enjoyed that.

  465. Back in the day, Taiwan also ignored copyright infringement laws as well. Is there something in the Chinese gene pool that has an outlaw propensity?

  466. Rahul

    I wonder, if so called fake stores write that “Be careful from other duplicate apple producers and sellers, we are the sole authorized ISO 9001-2009 certified proprietor and distributor of apple products”.

  467. Regan

    Nice scoop BirdAbroad! Ha ha. We all know stuff like this goes on, but this is pretty funny.

    Like alot of the posters tho, i wonder if the products are legit or knock offs? If they are legit, how do these stores make a profit? If they are knock offs….well…THAT is a more serious issue.

    Keep us posted Bird!

  468. You have a nice bag of De Gruyter! :-)

  469. Wan Lee Man

    I’m a Chinese currently studying in USA. You guys are actually so ignorant to think Chinese need to feel like they are in Apple Store to buy an Apple? They did it for the ambiance. If an item is hot in China, they don’t care where they buy it, they’ll find a way.

    If Apple pulls out of China, their total revenue will drop by at least a significant margin. Apple should thank these “FAKE” stores for helping them sell their product. It’s not like Apple paid to build these stores, these people built it to sell Apple’s products. If you ask me, it is a very smart business move on Kunming outlet’s owner.

    From the picture, you do see that the FAKE Apple Store does have quite a few customers, and I believe they do sell pretty well. Apple has this fella to thank. My 2 cents!

  470. Hi, this is a really really crazy thing. Even here in Germany is now everywhere spoken of your discovery!

  471. I am looking forward to diggin more of your quality content.

  472. And do you have some pics or facts about chinese stores in US and make comparison

  473. Wow, that’s really interesting. OK, I’m never taking my Mac for repairs if something happens to it in China. I wouldn’t be able to tell if the place was a rip-off store!

  474. Lan

    Are they actually selling genuine apple products?

  475. Well you guys are famous now! Congrats on the find!

  476. It’s unbelieveable.
    What will Apple do?
    Are there any reactions in the “Apple stoer” in Kunming already? (when will it be shut down?)

  477. We are also impressed by the e-pad – an interesting i-Pad clone, with Android and i-Pad like User Interface. Very scalable, it looks and works like an i-PAD. The truth is that the Chinese version of the i-PAD is very legal and is selling well across America through e-Bay and Europe. Long live China!!!!

  478. China is no joke. I guess this is what you called “going the extra mile” to be counterfeit.

  479. Very good post, thank you.

  480. Hey i read your post yesterday, but today I open AOL and part of it is on Huffington-AOL, here is the link, congrats:

  481. duola


  482. The story is very well written. Great read.

  483. Mick Hitchman

    You sure these aren’t legitimate Apple resellers?

  484. OH MY GOD..This is soo soo awesome..Chinese can do anything
    salutes them for their farziness ..They can make a replica of anything. I wait for the day when Fake Chinese apple stores would be better than actual ones and ppl will prefer going to the fake ones

  485. regerli

    What is the big deal? What special about the “real” Apple Store. Wooden tables were used there so no one else is allow to use the same! Racism is innated in those Supreme Americans.

  486. Joe Hinkley

    When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Apple should just write all this off as the price of moving their operation to the Pirate Paradise that is China.

  487. regerli

    What is the big deal? What special about the “real” Apple Store. Wooden tables were used there so no one else is allow to use the same! Racism innate in those Supreme American beings.

  488. Bastian

    Ha, copying is not that typical chinese as you might have thought.
    German press BILD (aka. copied your story and your pics. Send ‘em to Hell, Malone!

  489. China always does this impressive work!

  490. Ameya

    Amazing :-D … Chinese people … just amazing!

  491. Saskia

    It`s a free market!

  492. After freaking out for a couple of seconds, and reminded of the same chemicals they used to make plastics and glue which they added to milk and exported. Ok What’s New?!?!

  493. Incredible. The degree of piracy in China almost (key word: “almost”) defies belief!

  494. And this society is positioning to be the new global economic power – by lying, cheating and stealing – how is this ok? Why is everyone clamouring to be a part of this, and enable this? Fascinating. Instructive. Informative. Its lots of things, but it certainly is not right. And it is not limited to Apple – this behaviour and ‘way of thinking’ is pervasive through material ‘schtuph’ to entire towns. And looking at their appalling environmental management practices, this is a morally bankrupt society – demonstrating little to no social responsibility in almost any measure.

    • Sean

      You’re in no position to set what is right or any other moral standard for a whole other society that is much older than your own and that you also benefit from. The only things keeping many in the West from OPENLY lying, cheating and stealing are the laws enforced to keep the rich and poor where they are. It’s a different society in China, ironically the closest thing to a free market at the merchant level, and I say kudos to them for playing the system well.

    • Jeff

      As opposed to slavery and colonisation (Americans and Europeans would not be where they are today without them), and now tariffs, protectionism and unfair trade laws that benefit Team America at the expense of the rest of the world? The hypocrisy is incredible.

      • DropADuece

        Most of those tariffs and trade laws went out the window when the United States ratified NAFTA and GATT and entered the World Trade Organization. Then came the sucking sound as all the US manufacturing jobs went overseas now that US companies could circumvent US Labor and Environmental laws by contracting cheap low wage foreign labor from countries that have no such laws. If the US still had such tariffs, the trade deficit between the US and China wouldn’t be at a record $270 Billion. That’s right, Team America enacted some really beneficial trade laws to see $270 billion more coming in imports from China than what it exported out to China.

        Get a clue, or at least look up some facts to support your asinine statements.

  495. Chi

    IP rights in China are ridiculously bad, but in this case are the Macs, ipads, iphones, etc that they are selling legitimate/ If they are i would say it’s much better to mimic the look of a store and sell legitimate products than selling fake products in a non-mimiced store.

    • Bobby

      The writer of this article dared not confirm if this store is selling faked or genuine Apple products.

      Perhaps, a faked store selling genuine Apple products would make this blog less sensational.

      The author is trying to give people the impression that this faked store is selling faked products, when it is selling genuine products.

  496. how much are the ipads? lol

  497. Not Hating On Apple

    Just one thing IF APPLE is not concerned about the fake apple store then why should WE? They said that they still we be opening 2 new stores they are not sending the police to shut them down they are not doing anything because they are still getting paid regardless. Because if i buy a face apple product it might work good for a while but eventually it will start to malfunction and then when they find out that its no good then they will have to buy a new one and so which ever way apple still wins I Say just don’t fall for the name and just cause everyone is getting an apple get things for you and not for style .

  498. Joe Clarke

    Ahh western intellectual property rights who but you, gives a toss!
    The west stole the intellectual rights of China’s Silk and Gunpowder not to mention porcelain, then smuggled it’s tea plants out of the country whilst robbing the country of its silver and whatever else they could lay their grasping hands on, at the point of a gun by forcing the people to buy opium that they had diluted 75% with elephant droppings!
    Payback time!

  499. JH

    Here is link to photos of the authorized reseller (Xinya) in Kunming (click the thumbnail picture to see more images)

  500. Unbelievable; the scale of IPR violation in China, and the State machinery’s complicity in this.

  501. Freshly Pressed yesterday, talked about on the Yahoo homepage today. Congrats!

  502. Homer

    Not to be Buzz Killington, but what I worry about is that the boss is going to clean house in the middle of the night and bail without paying any of the employees that think they are working for Apple.

  503. apple store unleashed!! nice post, informative.

  504. James

    I noticed this has been picked up by the world press ( Reuters is carrying your post ) . I hate to spoil the fun but aren’t these perfectly legitimate Apple Licensed Re-seller stores?

    There are a few here in Shanghai

  505. Ed

    at least they spell “Apple store” correctly.

  506. This is flipping amazing. The level of effort to make a knock off environment is hilarious. This is an incredible snapshot of unregulated free markets. Love the pictures, love the story you told.

  507. alvin

    the Kunming “Apple Store” has been around for some years. I think it first started circa 2007. it’s two bus stops from where i used to stay. the only authorised apple distributor in Kunming (at least during the years I was in kunming) is actually an electronics shop near the city’s zoo.

  508. Mr Patel

    classic stuff. I commend the guy that thought of the idea!

  509. Hey, well done, just picked the story up from BBC News as number 4 most widely read article, great story.

  510. Bornforee

    This gives new meaning to the words “free market”. And why do we continue to give our wealth to this country?

    • If it weren’t for China buying US treasuries, the US would have gone bankrupt a long time ago. However, you’re correct in the sense that we’ve shipped all our production overseas because the government has legislated American industry into extinction.

  511. anything is possible in china hahahaha

  512. Ron

    isn’t it great. At least this Chinese rip-off store owner understands its clientele. It would even be nice if the store owner sold the new Lion OS on a thumb drive or CD. Most of my friends living in China would love to have such a store nearby with impeccable service. After all Steve Jobs do not accepts their Debit Cards and the download speed of the Internet here in China makes it virtually impossible to download the OS. Let’s hope the owner of this store keeps up the good work and show Cupertino how a business should be ran.

    • Bornforee

      Your post exemplifies the culture in China of stealing what is not rightfully yours. What gives these people the right to steal? Because the bandwidth is poor? Are you seriously joking? Oh…sorry your government condones this, so it must be OK.

      • Rahul

        I have seen a cartoon article, where a company had a pool for fishing, In neighborhood, few more company came, so this company built a wall around its pool. Now other companies started using fishing rod over the wall.
        The idea stealing is rampant all over the world. This is why this IPR and other laws have been enacted. But is it stopped? In many respected research centres, this is being practiced.
        So, though it is your right to cry foul, does not mean that everybody will lend you a ear. Afterall, You also did the same thing at some point.

  513. Unbelievable, I bet even Steve Job could tell this Apple Store is “fake”.

  514. Unbelievable, I bet even Steve Job couldn’t tell this Apple Store is “fake”.

  515. Kristen

    This wouldn’t happen if they were producing them in the USA. Good job with the site. It’s beautiful and you should do well! :)

  516. Plagarism, copyright infringement, trademark infringement are facts of life in the global marketplace. Unfortunately in countries around the world there is little or no recourse to stop infringers. The only alternative is to stop selling in those countries, which also bears no fruit (they just keep on a stealin’).

    Digital copyright infringement in the US and elsewhere is RAMPANT. Enforcement is difficult in the US… imagine how hard it must be overseas.

  517. Clóvis

    O pior é que os próprios funcionários acreditam estar trabalhando para a Apple…

    Pirataria perfeita, quem não conhece os produtos compram sem problemas…

  518. Yes I am in Sichuan in West China. I saw a new looking Apple Shop by the recently renovated Sichuan University North Gate a couple of days ago.

    I just went past it in a Taxi, but it had the Apple Logo and the words “Apple Store” on the front sign. It looked like an Apple Shop, rather than a reseller with own brand name. It’s also not listed as a reseller on the Apple China website.

    All this is nothing to be surprised about, but it is funny. Seriously though, why should the people of regional Chinese cities not have access to Apple products? If Apple can’t keep up with demand, others will.

    I say as long as they sell and service real apple stuff, what’s the problem. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s all extra product made on weekend production line runs.

    Seriously, what wouldn’t Foxconn do to add to their bottom line? They are building a factory in Chengdu, after all. Can’t get any employees though, so they’re cutting deals with government to get technical colleges in back-of-boondocks county towns to convince their students to start their careers at Foxconn.

    • Sean

      Totally agree. Local Chinese with enough capital to know and buy Apple brand wouldn’t take kindly to cheap knock-offs and the fact that the store has been there for more than 2 years means that they sell real products at a mark up or they sell knock-offs that are pretty close in quality. Fly-by-night trickster merchants would be as hated as anywhere in the world and certainly wouldn’t have such a bling store.

    • I totally agree with tamalias. I live in Kolkata (India), its quite difficult to get apple products through Apple Store if you just go outside Kolkata and most importantly,the service

      There are only two official Apple Premium Resellers (in Kolkata). But you will see lot of “Apple Stores” listed in local business sites.

      I agree that, the China “Apple Store case” is an extreme case.

      But, why we are so much ignored? Most importantly, why Apple is not interested to sell their products in South East Asian Region? Its rare to see an Apple Ad in standard Bengali Newspapers here.

  519. Regan

    Hey. I think MOST of us know that our iphones are made in China. Duh. Just because someone comments on the outrageousness or absurdity of these knock off stores doesn’t mean they are anti chinese or ignorant of the ways of the world. Nor does it instantly make them a rah rah sis boom bah flag waving America does no wrong automaton.

    The world is a complex place. There are injustices and hypocrises in every country.

    Having said that….and i hope you can hear me from way up here on my “high horse”….I will take our Freedoms we enjoy here over China’s ANY day. :-P

  520. tm

    You needn’t go to China to find a fake Apple store. There’s one in South Coast Plaza, here in Southern California. Looks like an Apple store, but it is staffed by a bunch of complete d-bags who treat the store like their private club, completely ignoring customers.

  521. Name

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.:) Give the workers in China western wages and workings conditions instead. Che-apple-os.

  522. Bob Dobbs

    Apple Stoer! Brilliant!

  523. I can tell you they will be selling real Apple Computers, there is a demand for them and there’s a good margin to be made. They certainly won’t be tricking people into paying full price for a fake computer.

    While Chinese customers don’t mind paying low prices for what they know to be fakes, they don’t take kindly to being ripped off with full-price fakes.

    It’s one thing to sell a tourist a vinyl “leather” wallet in a market, it’s another thing entirely to try ripping off locals.

    Can’t be sure about the accessories such as power packs etc. though.

  524. Yes I am in Sichuan in West China. I saw a new looking Apple Shop by the recently renovated Sichuan University North Gate a couple of days ago.

    I just went past it in a Taxi, but it had the Apple Logo and the words “Apple Store” on the front sign. It looked like an Apple Shop, rather than a reseller with own brand name. It’s also not listed as a reseller on the Apple China website.

    All this is nothing to be surprised about, but it is funny. Seriously though, why should the people of regional Chinese cities not have access to Apple products? If Apple can’t keep up with demand, others will.

    I can tell you they will be selling real Apple Computers, there is a demand for them and there’s a good margin to be made. They certainly won’t be tricking people into paying full price for a fake computer.

    While Chinese customers don’t mind paying low prices for what they know to be fakes, they don’t take kindly to being ripped off with full-price fakes.

    It’s one thing to sell a tourist a vinyl “leather” wallet in a market, it’s another thing entirely to try ripping off locals. Can’t be sure about the accessories such as power packs etc. though.

    I say as long as they sell and service real apple stuff, why should Apple care? Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s all extra product made on weekend production line runs.

    Seriously, what wouldn’t Foxconn do to add to their bottom line? They are building a factory in Chengdu, after all. Can’t get any employees though, so they’re cutting deals with government to get technical colleges in back-of-boondocks county towns to convince their students to start their careers at Foxconn.

  525. well done guys… keep it up…

  526. Seriously? I’m not so sure I can agree.

  527. I was in Kunming last year, saw an Apple Store, walked in and showed my MacBookPro that needed to be fixed. They had no clue what to do with it… No wonder!

  528. Wow, well done apple store rip-off.

  529. H

    This story is solid genius. I do like how they go to all the effort of faking this a lot better than most of us could, but then completely blow it by writing “Apple Store” on the front!

  530. JJ

    Detective work nicely done! I live in Dubai and there is a Chinese mall named DragonMart where one can find literally anything. That includes, you guesses it, fake Apple products that are indistinguishable from the real ones, almost. Imagine a fully functional iPad 2 for $120 where you can download apps as well. They even upgrade a few features here and there! However, the downside is that there are no warranties, so one buys at his or her own risk and this has personally thrown me off. However, a few friends have made the purchase they seem to be quite happy with them. You have to hand it to the Chinese!

  531. SL

    Nice scoop. Saw this here first and then on

  532. The corruption will never end in China. Just too many officials and others filling their pockets.

  533. I thought china is the heaven of fake LV, GUCCI, Prada.. etc…
    But man! They really prove us wrong!! They really prooooooooooved us damn f*****g wrong. They are so versatile that they can fake everything! Chinese from china, you should applause to yourself!

    • Fanny

      Uhm … personally i am not too comfortable with this comment. As a HK-Chinese i am not proud of this genius way of earning money. From a Chinese point of view, some Chinese are just dreaming of becoming rich as fast as possible as a way to compensate the old days of poverty. The sad thing is, i don’t trust any products that are sold in the Mainland China, even with the official declarations because they can be faked as well. Of course this cannot and should not be excused, but this is a lot more complicated than what you see on the surface.

  534. ah i don’t see a problem with it

  535. 500k visitors to this website in 48hours according to the BBC and you’re not advertising to it? could have paid for a lot of travelling… could still do – hit me up :)

  536. Raf

    Bulls**t! Let’s Apple confirm this before you presume it does reach your standard? Every church is different in detail, but same religion. Does Kunming store rock your believe?

  537. Too funny… specially that the workers think they are working for the real apple store…

  538. RobbieChen

    you made the first page of the biggest swiss newspaper :D

    the writeup


  539. Graphical

    I was in Kunming last month and saw these stores. I thought for sure I had finally found a real Apple store rather than the many resellers around. There is no lack of outlet for the Apple products in Kunming; these fake stores are a gimmick as it turns out but they sure fooled me. Of course, I checked the prices and they weren’t bargains.

  540. Jeff

    Well, why not. Apple take the lion’s share of all the profits that go with every iphone, ipad and Mac made. Despite them being made in China, the workers get paid peanuts, and worked to suicide levels. Yet Steve Jobs and the American government (through tax) gets all the benefits. Why?

    Furthermore, I am extremely sad to see China turn out the way it has. Americanisation/Westernisation on a huge scale – instead of expanding their own, home grown businesses into the big/global scene, they have allowed white stores from America, Britain and Euope to establish themselves en masse in China – McDonalds, KFC, Tesco, Marks and Spencers, CarreFour, Starbucks – where are the Chinese home grown, native stores? Answer – pushed by the wayside. In 50 years’ time, China will look like America – hell they will even speak Eng… American, celebrate Independence Day etc… so much for globalisation, when only one country benefits.

    • DropADuece

      Apple takes advantage of the Chinese labor because the Chinese government allows it. Organize and campaign against your government for fair labor laws, safer working environments, and Apple won’t be able to make money of Chinese labor anymore. Apple is paying the employees to the standards of Chinese law. Don’t blame Apple, blame the Chinese government.

  541. These “stoers” have to be getting their computers from somewhere. If these are low quality copies made by back-engineering, then they will eventually hurt Apple’s reputation. If they are high quality copies made by stealing intellectual property, then they will eventually hurt Apple’s profits.

    China is a very rich country, with a very casual attitude toward intellectual property. Eventually this will lead to corruption, as companies take this matter into their own hands. If the government (of any country) wants to fight corruption, they have to stand up for the rights of inventors and investors.

    Apple is a rich company that charges a premium for their logo. But that does not make stealing from them OK. It is certainly less harmful than stealing from poor people, but it is still stealing.

  542. Dennis

    There are retail stores and exists all over the world, they are legal and apple has approved.

  543. Kunming is one of China’s most beautiful cities, it is by no means located at “the end of the earth”. :)

  544. ChasL

    There are apple store looking resellers in US too. For example one on 45th near Univ. of Washington, and another at Redmond Town Center near Microsoft campus

  545. Wael

    get on a plane and come to Egypt…i’ll take u for a tour to see the fake Apple stores too!

  546. John

    Thank goodness that it’s Foxconn and not Apple treating their employees slightly better than the average Chinese manufacturer. Now, if this article had been about Walmart…

  547. good job! will repost this on my blog too!!… fake apple store, made in china!

  548. Sure

    Lol, Awesome! And possible only in China…

  549. Did anyone notice, how Chinese have spelt ‘Stoer’ in the last pic? Definite good rip off..

  550. John

    There are way more fake apple stores than three. And i saw more being fleshed out last week.

    Probably a booming business printing all the logo stuff right now.

  551. futuredave5 – absolute best synopsis of the entire comment section.

  552. China ha copiado una tienda entera de Apple Inc., en la ciudad suroccidental de Kunming, según informó el blog de un residente extranjero. Plagio tecnológico made in China. Puf.

    • BirdAbroad

      Anyone who wants to visit Kunming and check these places out for themselves is 100% welcome! I’ll point you in the direction of the fake stores.

      Just don’t wield your camera too obviously – might get you in trouble. :)

      • Bobby

        You unwillingness to post the address of this store for verification shows that this is just an authorized store selling genuine Apple products.

    • DropADuece

      This blog is not a fake. The fake Apple Store exists and is not an authorized reseller, corroborated by an actual employee from the store in the following article:

      • Bobby

        That salesman also said products in the store are genuine Apple products sold at the same prices as those advertised on Apple’s website.

      • DropADuece

        Just because they are real Apple products does not mean they were obtained in a legal manner. They could be stolen, or factory rejects. They are being dishonest to their customers by portraying themselves to be a legitimate Apple Store, and thus being part of Apple Inc. If someone were to buy a product from them, and it fails, they will not be able to get warranty support from that store. Authorized resellers obtain their items from the proper Apple Channels and all products will have full support. This store is not authorized, so you cannot have any faith in their products.

  553. I bet there are many more fake Apple stores trying to make a quick buck or two. Interestingly, the fake stores have, from my observation, been able to rake in money with a better ROI. I think Apple tracking them, filing case is somewhat dim.

  554. I need one around the corner. Any phone number of the construction company? ;)

  555. The guy leaning on the counter in the blue ‘Apple’ shirt even has the hipster vibe down pat!

  556. name required

    Does anyone know, if China has Mikerowsoft store?

  557. Wow. That’s just really all I can say about that one. Just wow.

  558. Bill Sup

    Thank you China. Truly. It’s about time.

  559. Having grown up in Hong Kong I know that there is a Chinese version of everything. The fact they would go to these lengths is hysterical. But are the units actually iPads or the aPads or ePads that you see proliferating eBay?

    At least a Microsoft rip off store would be less noticeable since their products are quite flawed to start with.

  560. BobtheIPbuilder

    This is terrible – It’s like the bad guy who owns the factory in a small town and has everyone by the nuts. And he’s got his kid running around terrizing the town folk and nobody is willing to stand up and do anything. Our unending need for incremental sales and profits will evenutally be our down fall as China ruins us…I mean absolutely ruins the US.

  561. Amazing story. For a satirical take on China’s attitude toward intellectual property rights, take a look at this:,6803/

    Doesn’t really seem like much of an exaggeration, does it?

  562. Bobby

    The real apple store does not say “Apple Store”, so how is this store copying?

    Just stupid China-bashing here.

    This is just an authorized store selling genuine Apple products.

    • Matt

      This store isn’t listed as an authorised reseller, as stated in the article. Read the post before commenting.

    • Paul C

      Sorry to sound condescending Bobby, but did you read the article at all??
      It clearly states that the three stores are not listed on the list of authorised stores as you incorrectly mentioned. The list of stores in the Kunming area can be found here.
      This is not a case of ‘stupid China-bashing’ as you have incorrectly stated, but in-fact proof of the blatant counterfeiting which gives the vast majority of genuine, law-abiding Chinese citizens a bad reputation.

      • Bobby

        But this faked store is selling genuine Apple products.

      • DropADuece

        Bobby, do you work there? That is the only way you would know for sure they are selling genuine Apple products. Even if they are, you cannot trust a store that blatantly lies to customer faces and pretends to be something it is not.

    • DropADuece

      You need to open your eyes man. An employee from the store in question already came out and said it was a fake. See my previous posts. You are wrong.

  563. :)

    I totally believe this. I lived in Beijing for a year and I saw fakes of many different things. I actually saw a fake Volkswagon Jetta. My friends and I had to do a double take – but yes, indeed, it was fake. What gave it away was the spelling – “Jaett”. :)

    • A fake Jetta? Wow! I love the misspellings. It’s bizarre to me that people would go to that much trouble to imitate and yet still misspell. What was the funniest English t-shirt you saw?

      My favorite was the one my student in middle-of-nowhere Hunan wore to English corner one day that said, “You f***ing hate me because you f***ing love me.” She was the sweetest, most innocent girl. I asked her where she got that shirt, and she responded: “My mother bought it for me. She knows I like English.” Yikes! Reminds me of the days when Abercrombie had all those t-shirts with the Chinese characters…who knows what people were really wearing…

  564. That was brave a one :)

  565. I don’t see a problem with that. Its just another thing. But great work.

  566. Whats with the ‘stoer’ in the last pic? :)

  567. jose

    You ignorants, There´s nothing wrong with the Store, it´s called an IFraud….!!!.

  568. Dave

    This is a real Apple store, owned and operated by Apple, designed to look fake.

  569. Toney

    HAHA, i live in Jiang Su near Xu Zhou, three months ago i found another fake Apple Store somewhere close to Wuhan/Hubei where i went for vacation ,BUT, it was funnier than your store because these guys were selling Nokia telephones and other brands too,and when i asked them (hey whats going on ) they simply replied me [ Mei Wen Ti ,Bu Yao Dang Xin ]
    meaning No problem and dont Worry ..
    they are funny, i love them all ,because they try hard and they think to copy is OK ?

  570. goose

    i visited a fake apple store in xian in may – see

  571. Congratulations on making national news. This is absolutely astounding. Love the Engrish spellings on the signs!

  572. As one of the most recognized brands in the world, I can’t say that I’m surprised about these fake stores. Those photos show a pretty convincing, and impressive, attempt.

  573. Amazing! They will copy ANYTHING! I’ve heard about fake eggs and milk..I wonder if they made an entire, fake dairy farm!

  574. Alvaro

    haha, it’s awesome! Hi from Spain

  575. Guys China will make a fake copy of yourself if you go around shopping for it… lol ….. interesting thing is that not only this is a copy of the product but this is a copy of the entire company…. lol…..

  576. Abi-ta


  577. my flatmate works for Apple in SH. they’re opening a lot of new stores.

  578. amazing blog post. hahahah.

  579. steven allgood

    Technically it’s not an Apple Store… it says right there, it’s an “Apple Stoer”

  580. ruisu

    This is a very common thing in China, Everything is copy or fake!
    Ha Ha! Apple stores is a small thing, Steve Jobs is lucky.
    That High-Speed railway is a big thing! it copy from where? Japan or Germany? Japanese and German must be cry out for this.

    • Bobby

      The Chinese paid a lot of money to buy the trains from Germany.
      Then the Chinese develop their own technology for their own trains. There was no need to copy. Just stupid china bashing again.

  581. Check out the Fake Apple stores. This is so Awesome! Must go to China!

  582. Wow! I can’t say I’m surprised, but wow. I lived in China 3 years, and I saw many knockoffs, but to imitate an entire store?! Even that surprises me, and I saw a lot of things while living there (lived in rural Hunan, Hangzhou, and & Beijing).

    Do the people in Kunming actually think that Apple opened a store there, or are they in the dark also?

  583. joe

    Steve Jobs, or Tim Cook should fired their China CEO..

    caz they are NOT opening fast enough!!! China market demands it.. and Apple it’s not catching up…

  584. storerevealer

    1. Zhengyi Road, Kunming. Surprise, surprise. Not officially listed. So, next one?

    Your turn, gal.

  585. Haha that is crazy!! I mean, it looks soo much like an Apple store. Lovely find!

  586. Raymund


  587. j7

    Yes, China has stolen everything of value from the world. Sell your bonds…haha…we are going to default…no problem, China has defaulted before on their obligations.

    I would not be so sure the African nation will take over manufacturing from anyone, with all the money in unilateral trade that China has amassed, they have bought the continent of Africa. They need the resources and the land to feed their billions of people.

  588. Nonsense

    Apple’s been being ripped off for a long time. I mean think where Microsoft would be if they hadn’t ripped of Apple. Bill would probably be coding for IBM in some cubicle forest.

  589. john

    big deal. The phones are probably better quality than the real ones anyways.

  590. MJ

    Will we see a fake Steve Jobs in these shops in the future ?

  591. In China people rarely care about the authorization. If the products are Apple produced, does this hurt anyone?

  592. tarepanda

    As you’ve heard before many times, great scoop! It’s been amazing to see how far and wide this story has spread — literally around the world. Love the witty commentary in your post as well as the pictures! Apple Stoer FTW.

  593. mick

    What didn’t get mentioned is just how damn’ expensive apple (and every other) products are in china. It is cheaper to buy an ipad in america or singapore even though they are made in china. Even hong kong has buckled under it seems and now sells at china prices. I was just in kunming and hong kong and went from there to singapore and now shanghai. A pair of levis in shanghai costs $200 at a typical shopping center. How the hell do chinese people afford that? The top of the line ipad2 form the official apple store seems to be about $200 more than the same ipad in the US. I can’t fingure that one out.

  594. Rod Leung

    A group 16 of us from Seattle just got back from Kunming yesterday. While on our bus on route to Shangri-La, saw the store and it stuck in my mind of what is that ?
    Your posting is timing perfect for me to clarify what I saw is not illusion, but real.

  595. Walter

    That’s why people in China always come to Hong Kong to buy iPhone, ipad… watches, cameras… dairy products, groceries…

  596. Bruce

    Great bit of reporting. I saw the LA Times article and sent it on to my Mac user group. Then a group member posted the link to your blog. Very interesting to hear about what’s happening in Kunming. I have studied Chinese history and found it fascinating to read of great changes occurring on a massive scale periodically throughout history. Now I shall follow your blog to learn of adventures in modern China. Mac folk lead the most interesting lives. Thanks much!
    Bruce in Los Angeles

    For those who might be interested in an online Mac user group that is very friendly, a real worldwide social group as well as tech info, check this out:

  597. Fanboy Sam

    You don’t have to go the China to see a “Fake” apple store. Go to the Bellevue Square Mall near the Microsoft Campus and visit the new flagship “Microsoft Store” Complete with hardwood floors and nice young salespeople in T-Shirts :)

  598. Bobby

    It seems like the author of this article is not willing to confirm if this particular is selling real Apple products or not.
    I guess the author is trying to portray this as a faked store selling faked products.
    A faked store selling genuine Apple products would be a bit less dramatic.

  599. Wayne M.

    Most excellent INFO man !

  600. Dean

    It’s not an Apple Store, it’s an Apple Stoer (the window). Too typical of any other Chinese user manual to have the misspelling.

  601. Ian

    I don’t see the point of this post. Everything in China is fake and everybody knows these stores are fake. The local people are not stupid

  602. TY

    Japan – Toyota, Nissan, Sony, Seiko, Panasonic, Toshiba, Canon, Fujifilm, Yamaha.

    Korea – LG, Hyundai, Samsung, KIA.

    China – Apple Stoer, Palsonic, Somy, Niky, Pume.

    Which Chinese company will be a leading force like those of Japan and Korea?

  603. Expat in China

    Look these knock of stores litter China, I live in what China calls “a little” town and our 4th so called fake Apple store opened last week. To be honest, the photo’s of the Apple stores above are somewhat impressive in comparison to our shoe box size stores. This is not a recent trend. I have been here for a few years and gradually, yes, more have opened. However, A, Is this such a surprise to us all and B, does it really affect you.

    What some of you may not understand sitting at your computers hundreds and maybe thousands of miles away is these stores are actually selling genuine products and also use Apples main distribution centers and Apple’s contracted repair centers.

    There has been a lot of bad press recently regarding China’s stance towards pirated, copied and fake goods, however, China is making progress in these areas and becoming more in line with western policies. But is that such a good thing???

    We all look too our own countries and consider whether feeding these multi billion dollar/pound corporate monsters is such a good thing. Remember its only the people at the top who are getting more stock options and salary increases.

    These stores don’t make a massive profit margin on each item, the pay wage to staff which would make most you cry, $120 a month. Rent for the shop and then more stock.

    These stores tend to shut as fast as they open. The overheads and profit margins are minimal. Basically they are only earning enough to cover costs and keep people in employment.

    And is keeping people in employment such a bad thing. Regardless of copyright or counterfeit goods. Everyone would beg steal or borrow to keep their own families housed and feed.

  604. Steve Jobs can’t hear you. He is busy sleeping on his big pile of money while listening to the finest champagne fall down a gold ingot waterfall.

  605. If the product is real, why the shop is fake?

  606. Dave L

    Great work! Look forward to any follow-up on this story.

    Apple sells its’ products through its’ own website along with owned & operated brick & mortar stores (only found in 10 countries plus the US). In other countries you can buy from an authorized Apple reseller, or ostensibly, an un-authorized reseller. Of the “un-authorized” resellers many sell actual Apple product but others sell fake/bootleg Apple product. (You can find electronics stores in NYC that sell fake iPhones.)

    The Apple brand is severely damaged when a fake Apple product is bought – it becomes a waste of the customers $ to buy something under false pretense – further, this fake product has no warranty, is not covered by Apple Care, and will probably not work for very long. Apple loses a customer because of the failure of the perceived product.

    What difference does it make if a product is “cheaper” if it doesn’t work like it should or have the support of the manufacturer?

    When iPad was released in the US, there were huge numbers of people buying who were allegedly reselling to China. They were purchased at full-retail and had to be marked up to monstrous levels. Un-authorized resellers either sell bootleg product, stolen product, or product bought at retail and marked up for profit. I don’t believe that Apple allows their legitimate distribution chain to be breached so easily and frequently.

  607. Wing@Foshan

    Hi there,

    interesting articles, but I am not sure the technical details are correct. I checked website, there are 2 types of “places” you could buy official Apple authorized products, either via the official Apple Stores “苹果零售店” and indeed there are only 4 of those in China (Beijing & Shanghai as noted). However there are many other listed as Apple authorized reseller “苹果经销商”. And if you check the list for the 2nd category, there are 7 of those in Kunming. The staffs there are probably not hired by Apple, but it doesn’t necessary mean that the products sold there are not authentic/legally imported. Since the address of the store pictured is not included in the article, I could not judge whether it is one of those resellers.

    • DropADuece

      One of the employees of the store in this blog already confirmed the store was a fake and not an authorized reseller. See the links at the top of the page.

  608. Wow, I really want to go to China now.

  609. ChinaMan

    As a Chinese citizen who’s spent a large portion of his life abroad, there is one thing about the Western culture/attitude, and those who uphold it, that I find really disturbing: it’s the opinionated self-righteousness. I’m not here to debate the morality of intellectual property rights violations or to defend piracy of any kind. However, please understand this is the reality of life in China. I’m sure with the Author’s extensive experience in China, especially in Kunming, she must have seen the side of society that isn’t shown in pretty tourist attraction posters. For those who didn’t have the fortunate fate of being born with money, shouldn’t they be allowed to make a living doing whatever they can? (as long as they don’t rob, steal, or hurt other people). Yeah, most of the profits from these kind of schemes are probably going to some shyster whose only goal is to make himself rich but at least he/she is creating jobs. For those staff employed in these stores: isn’t having a job better than being unemployed and starving? Would working in a sweat factory like FoxConn producing GENUINE Apple parts be better than working in an air-conditioned FAKE Apple store? Maybe to satisfy your Western sense of “morality” it is, but from my point of view, and millions of poor Chinese people, the answer would be: “whichever makes me the most money”…

    I’m not criticizing the author personally in any way, but rather would like to point out the view that a lot of Westerners who come from a life of, comparatively, comfort and safety have; who, because of their birthright, don’t have to worry about things like food, shelter, safety, employment; who, if I were to place you on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, would be a lot higher than most of the population in developed countries.

    China is my homeland.. I love it but I recognize that it is a very flawed country with a very flawed government. However, it is NOT your place to judge or criticized us. Back when the economy was state controlled, the Western world bitched about the “evils of Communism and Socialism”…then we opened the markets, and what you see today is the pure effects of supply and demand in a market economy, yet you still complain?

    As the saying goes: Don’t come to me with Problems, come to me with Solutions. And if you don’t have any, kindly F&*$ off..

    • Spoiled Americans

      110% with you ChinaMan.
      In addition, let me say that in any country where there exist lost of people that lives in very low conditions there is no place for things like Intellectual Property Right. There´s only place for honest and not so honest people trying to make a decent living in any way they can, to feed their families and maybe if they´re lucky enough, give a good education to their kids.

    • DropADuece

      The problems the Chinese people are dealing with right now are almost the same problems the US and other nations were dealing with in the 1900’s. Back when the labor laws were almost non existent and companies would take advantage of the poor people needing jobs.

      Here are some solutions:

      Poor people in China organize and form unions, demand better working conditions, safer working environments, higher wages, and fair labor laws from the government. The Government then enforces those laws and shuts down the sweatshop factories that abuse the Chinese workers if they do not comply.

      As for the counterfeiting, Demand that your Government enact stricter laws regarding Intellectual Property rights that are in line with other industrialized nations, and the Government enforces those laws.

  610. Kang Kang

    Good article! My wife lives in Kunming and she was about to go to one of these stores to buy some apple products. I think the one in wangfujing is a premium reseller though so I shall tell her to avoid these stores and go to Xinya.

  611. Wow unbelievable. Looks like an real Apple Store.

  612. purerush

    wow,its name is “Apple stoer”,not “Apple store”.

  613. tienda falsa de apple en China y luego por nos meten en problemas con las marcas