Recently it was reported that cloners in China weren’t only knocking off Apple gear such as the iPhone and Apple iPad, but also had turned to knocking off Apple stores, with several popping up in Kunming, China, well it appears that finally the Chinese government is actually doing something about these rip-off merchants, with the fake Apple stores anyway, albeit not for Apple’s sake.
According to an article over on Bloomberg, the Chinese authorities have now closed down 2 of the 5 fake Apple stores due to said stores operating without the required business licences, and also investigated the other 3 fake Apple stores but found they had the required licences to continue operating.
According to the report by Chinese newspaper Dushi Shibao, the findings were part of an official probe into over three hundred electronics vendors in the city of Kunming.
Apparently employees at the Fake Apple stores have said they purchase Apple products from authorised resellers and sell them on for more by matching the higher prices quoted on the official Apple website.
Apparently three of the fake Apple stores are registered to the same owner, whose lawyer apparently says they are doing Apple a favour, and that they’ve done nothing wrong. The lawyer says in the USA you can’t sell Apple gear without Apple’s consent, however in China that isn’t the case, as they don’t have such a legal requirement.
However, apparently the lawyer has said that they are applying to become an authorise reseller of Apple gear. The word is authorised reseller want the fake Apple stores shut down.
Basically all the authorities did was to walk in, take a look around, check business licences and then left, with the investigation lasting just 15 minutes.
We have a video report on the fake Apple stores for your viewing pleasure below courtesy of Bloomberg which lasts just over two minutes, and apparently they were there when the investigators turned up, so don’t forget to head on down and check that out.
Having said that, although two of the five stores have been shut down, it wasn’t because they knocked off Apple’s stores or that they offer the iPhone. Apple iPad and other Apple gear, but simply because they didn’t have the licence to do so, so what’s the betting that they get that licence before too long and reopen?