An American blogger living in China has discovered 3 fake fully operational Apple stores in Kunming city.
The blog BirdAbroad on WordPress was discovered last week and has since then gained immense popularity, so much that it has alerted Chinese officials to investigate the stores.
The blogger first stumbled across the store when she was in the area and was convinced it was the real thing based on key apple elements such as the winding staircase, upstairs seating area and the employees blue tee-shirts and id lanyards.
However on closer look she could see right through the façade, the winding staircase was poorly constructed, the walls were not painted properly and according to her the ‘most damning’ were the words ‘Apple Store’ written outside of the store.
“Apple never writes Apple store on its signs”, it simply has “the iconic glowing fruit.”
Further research by the blogger showed that official Apple stores are located only in Beijing and Shanghai and none of the three stores were listed as Apple’s official resellers in Kunming.
Talking to the employees, she discovered they were fully convinced that they were employed by the Apple Corporation.
The blog entry resulted in an investigation launched by the Chinese officials, who in a raid of 300 electronics stores have found five fake Apple stores across Kunming city. Two stores have been ordered to suspend business until further inquiry, says a local Government website.
The officials could not do anything about the three stores reported by the blogger as they were selling original Apple products.
However it is yet to be confirmed whether those products are purchased legally through Apple distributers or through a grey market source.
Apple has said it has no comments to make on the discovery of counterfeit stores.