China shuts down fake Apple stores

According to reports, Chinese authorities have discovered five fake Apple stores and have closed two so far.

Fake Apple store sign - hard to spot? Credit: BirdAbroad

Chinese authorities have discovered a total of five Apple store knockoffs in the city of Kunming and suspended two of these due to lack of business licenses following an extensive investigation, according to news reports. Sources say the Kunming Trade and Industry Bureau launched an investigation looking into more than 300 electronic stores in the city's four major districts after a blog post last Wednesday revealed the presence of these fake Apple shops.

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What tipped the blogger, BirdAbroad, off that these shops were fake was their store signs. She wrote in her blog post that genuine Apple shops do not have words on these signs, just its iconic fruit logo at main entrances. The fake stores had "Apple Store" emblazoned on them, though, with one revealing a spelling error.

In the end, five fake Apple shops were discovered, complete with Apple signs and logos prominently displayed. Two of these were ordered to end operations as they were found to be lacking official business licenses, the report noted. All five stores sold genuine Apple products, but did so without Apple's authorization, it added.

For more on this story, read Fake Apple stores in China ordered to shutter on ZDNet Asia.