Employee at 'Counterfeit' Apple Stores Speaks to WSJ

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News Posted: Fri, Jul 22 2011 9:06 AM
An employee at one of three counterfeit Apple stores (not product, stores) in Kunming, China that we wrote about earlier admitted the store was fake, and that he knows it. Earlier reports were that the employees were under the mistaken impression that they were actually working for Apple.

The stores, one of which had a sign that misspelled Store in Apple Store as "Stoer," were in what might be called a backwater part of the country. They were discovered by expat Americans, and although they went through a great deal of effort to duplicate Apple retail stores, right down to a winding staircase, blue employee t-shirts and official looking name tags, it was obvious they were fake after spending some time inside.

For one thing, Apple has only four stores in China. Two are in Beijing, and two are in Shanghai, and that information is readily available on Apple's site.

At the same time, Apple does have authorized resellers, but these stores are not among them. The employee, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, said “It doesn’t make much of a difference for us whether we’re authorized or not. I just care that what I sell every day are authentic Apple products, and that our customers don’t come back to me to complain about the quality of the products. I think in Yunnan, our store should be one of the best in terms of scale and the level of professionalism."

At least the employee said that the products are authentic, as they appeared dubious in the earlier report. Of course, that's assuming he's being truthful.

It's still unclear how the stores source their products, however. It's not unheard of for scalpers to buy products at actual Apple stores and sell them for a premium.

So far there's no "official" reaction from Apple. Since the stores have been skirting the rules until now, it's unclear if Apple would let them into their authorized resellers program, but the stores could in fact apply, if they wanted.
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Marco C replied on Fri, Jul 22 2011 10:16 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the products are from "shadow" factories.

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Inspector replied on Fri, Jul 22 2011 12:24 PM

They could be, we would never know till a trust-able source goes and checks it out them self. Marco u up for a trip? :D LOL, its for HH's good :P

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realneil replied on Fri, Jul 22 2011 1:52 PM

Marco C:
I wouldn't be surprised if some of the products are from "shadow" factories.

"shadow" factories is one of the things that China does best. They always seem to duplicate the best of tech and then sell it for pennies on the dollar. In their convoluted book of American phrase translations, "Intellectual Property" means, "Please steal this idea and make much money!" "Do it now!"

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OSunday replied on Fri, Jul 22 2011 2:50 PM

Hahahah realneil I loved your definition for intellectual property.

And I wouldn't doubt half the products being shadow factory products, since the area is known for making components for the latest and greatest in tech, as well as ripping it off  

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rrplay replied on Sat, Jul 23 2011 6:49 AM

From the way I understand it it seemed that the counterfeit Apple store may have had better customer service and that's what 'did them in'

>>seriously ! looky here


"I prefer to get my Apple products fixed here. It's very troublesome going to the real Apple store in Lujiazui because not only do you have to pay to get repairs, but you have to make an appointment to see the sales specialist," said Xavier, a 30-something expatriate who declined to give his last name.

"The prices are the same as the real store but the service is better here," he added,"

seems that maybe some folks actually preferred the fake Apples

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jul 23 2011 12:04 PM

That is hilarious it would kind of make sense to. The fake Apple employees would not have the auto we are better than everyone personality flaw it seems!

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