Any visitor to China or Southeast Asia is undoubtedly familiar with the wide array of knock-offs that China produces: anything from T-shirts to handbags to DVDs. These fakes are often quite convincing, but the quality is, in reality, much shoddier than the name-brand product, and of course, the whole concept is a giant violation of intellectual property rights.
An American blogger in Kunming, China is receiving high praise for discovering what may be the most ambitious knock-off yet: an Apple store, complete with winding staircases, Apple logos, and employees in blue shirts and Apple name tags. Some of the employees even believed that they were working for a real Apple store.
The blogger, BirdAbroad explains that it was a “beautiful ripoff — a brilliant one — the best ripoff store we had ever seen (and we see them every day). But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn’t been painted properly. Apple never writes ‘Apple Store’ on it’s [sic] signs — it just puts up the glowing, iconic fruit.” According to Apple’s website, it only has a handful of stores in China, and certainly not in Kunming, which BirdAbroad describes as something of a backwater. Even with the media furor, the store is still apparently operating.
Photo from goodrob13 via flickr.
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