25 July 2011 | Category: Electronics
Two counterfeit Apple stores have been closed in Kunming city in the Yunnan province of southwest China after an investigation of 300 technology stores there.
During the investigation, at least five outlets were discovered operating beneath the Apple trademark without permission of the U.S.-based technology empire. The two stores that were closed were found to be operating without a business license and were consequently shut down so that an inquiry could be performed.
The investigation was launched following the posting of photos by an American blogger depicting a nearly perfect counterfeit of an Apple outlet in Kunming, with employees wearing copies of Apple's standard blue t-shirts. The validity of the shop was called into question as the photo revealed badly painted walls and a storefront sign reading "Apple Store." Genuine Apple storefronts merely showcase the company's highly recognizable fruit logo.
While genuine Apple stores are open in China, the Apple website lists only four, two in Beijing and two in Shanghai. The company claims no official stores in Kunming.
China is notorious for its enormous counterfeit market, and its government continues to struggle to close counterfeit stores and remove fake goods from the market. With Apple products growing in popularity, however, counterfeit iPods and iPhones have flooded the Chinese market.