iFraud: Bogus Apple Store in China Fools Everyone, Even the Staff


A fake Apple store in Kuming, China. (REUTERS / Courtesy of BirdAbroad)

The store in Kunming, China was stumbled upon by a 27-year-old American blogger living in the city, the capital of China’s mountainous southwestern Yunnan province, complete with the white Apple logo, wooden tables and cheery staff claiming they work for the iPhone maker.

The store looks every bit like Apple Stores found all over the world, according to the blogger, who goes by the name “BirdAbroad.” Yet, Apple has no stores in Kunming and only 13 authorized resellers in the city, who are not allowed to call themselves Apple Stores or claim to work for Apple.

“This was a total Apple store rip-off. A beautiful rip-off – a brilliant one – the best rip-off store we had ever seen,” the anonymous blogger posted on Wednesday. “Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple.”

It was unclear whether the store was selling fake or genuine Apple products – there are countless unauthorized resellers of Apple and other brands’ electronic products throughout the country who sell the real thing but obtain their goods by buying them overseas and smuggling them into the country to skip tax.

The store had sections devoted to different Apple products, similar to real Apple stores, and large posters advertising the iPhone 4 and MacBook Pro, according to photos on the blog.

Apple declined to comment. The Cupertino, California-based firm reported forecast-smashing results on Tuesday, helped by massive growth in Asia, and China in particular. (Reuters)


A fake Apple store in Kuming, China. (REUTERS / Courtesy of BirdAbroad)


A fake Apple store in Kuming, China. (REUTERS / Courtesy of BirdAbroad)


A fake Apple store in Kuming, China. (REUTERS / Courtesy of BirdAbroad)


A fake Apple store in Kuming, China. (REUTERS / Courtesy of BirdAbroad)


A fake Apple store in Kuming, China. (REUTERS / Courtesy of BirdAbroad)


A fake Apple store in Kuming, China. (REUTERS / Courtesy of BirdAbroad)


A counterfeit Apple iPhone, which sold for RMB450 ($66), is shown at a mall selling electronics in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province. Apple computer, whose popular iPhone is widely copied in China, isn’t the only foreign handset maker to suffer at the hands of counterfeiters. Knock-offs of Samsung, Nokia and Motorola products are all sold openly throughout China. (REUTERS / Stringer)

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