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article imageMore fake Apple Stores popping up in China, officials order probe

By Andrew Moran     Jul 25, 2011 in Business
Kunming - Chinese officials have discovered five more fake Apple Stores in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming. The authorities have ordered an investigation and told two stores to shut down operations during the probes.
Last week, Digital Journal reported about the American blogger, BirdAbroad, who discovered a fake Apple Store in Kunming, China. The finding brought more than one million viewers to the 27-year-old’s blog and news agencies immediately investigated the store.
Following the story, Chinese officials found five more fake Apple Stores in the same city, according to the Associated Press. Authorities are investigating these unauthorized stores for operating without a business license and the use of the Apple logo without permission.
Two of the stores have been ordered to suspend operations until the investigation is completed, which is part of a probe of more than 300 electronics vendors in Kunming.
The owner of the original fake Apple Store, who provided the name Li to news outlets, explained that investigators went to this store during the weekend and could not find any violations of the law in his store, but an official announcement will be given next week.
“I am sure we will become their authorized reseller in the near future,” Li said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “After all, we invested a lot in this store.”
Deng Hai, a lawyer for one owner, who sells genuine Apple products, Yu Cheng, told Bloomberg News that he’s “doing Apple a favor” and that he isn’t violating any Chinese laws. Cheng’s stores have not been ordered to close.
Hai added that Cheng has sought permission to utilize Apple’s logo and sell the company’s various products. Until he receives official permission, the attorney said Cheng has “the right to invest in as many stores as he wants, as long as he is not breaking the law.”
Upon this news, Apple is planning to establish a third store in Shanghai. There are four Apple Stores in China, two in Beijing and two in Shanghai.
BirdAbroad asked readers to send in photos and videos of fake Apple Stores in their city. It seems the problem just isn’t in Kunming, but elsewhere in China and in countries around the world, including Croatia, “Apple Story” in New York and in Burma.
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