Chinese Authorities Close Two Fake Apple Stores Over Permit Issues

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Apr 12, 2001
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Last week, we covered the story of fake Apple retail stores popping up in China and noted a follow-up report from The Wall Street Journal</a> in which employees of the stores shared their thoughts about simply wanting to provide the highest levels of service to their customers.


Fake Apple retail store in Kunming, China

Reuters now reports that officials in the city of Kunming where the fake Apple stores were publicized have discovered five such stores and have shut down two of them. The shutdowns were due to a lack of proper permits, however, rather than for any sort of infringement of fraud related to mimicking Apple's store designs as investigations on that front continue.
"Media should not misunderstand the situation and jump to conclusions. Some overseas media has made it appear the stores sold fake Apple products," said Chang Puyun, spokesman of Kunming government's business bureau.

"China has taken great steps to enforce intellectual property rights and the stores weren't selling fake products."

Officials are investigating whether Apple had applied with the Chinese government to have its store design and layout protected by law, Chang added.
The report notes that Chinese law prohibits companies from copying the "look and feel" of other stores but that enforcement of those laws is "often spotty". Many customers of the stores in question have expressed outrage over the news, feeling that they had been misled into thinking that the stores were genuine Apple-run shops and worrying that they had been sold fake products.

Apple has of course been making a significant effort at penetrating the Chinese market, having opened four large retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai and planning to open several dozen more stores there. During last week's earnings conference call, Apple executives noted that the company's sales in "greater China" totaled $3.8 billion for the quarter, six times that of the year-ago quarter.

Article Link: Chinese Authorities Close Two Fake Apple Stores Over Permit Issues
 

GFLPraxis

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Mar 17, 2004
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Modern China seems like America during the industrial revolution- ignore everyone's patents for free rapid growth.

Not that bad of an idea (for them), really.
 

Biolizard

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2008
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Officials are investigating whether Apple had applied with the Chinese government to have its store design and layout protected by law, Chang added.
Not really the point. These fake stores were deceiving customers into thinking that they were making purchases from Apple itself; that is surely illegal.

Still, China's contempt for anything Western means the practice won't be stopped by the authorities, even if publicly they say otherwise.
 

Drunken Master

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2011
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Still, China's contempt for anything Western means the practice won't be stopped by the authorities, even if publicly they say otherwise.
Contempt?

They're copying the West left and right and moving here for work. It's not like it's an isolationist country anymore.

Really, don't flatter yourself.
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
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"China has taken great steps to enforce intellectual property rights ...."

So where do most knock-off products come from??



" The order did not apply to that store, which is **applying** for a reseller licence with Apple, a local government spokesman said." (Globe&Mail)

So it's ok (according to government spokesperson) to use the Apple logo and name, if you planning to "apply" for a license??

.
 

*LTD*

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Good. Down with fakes.
 

kiang

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2007
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Am I the only one that's not blowing this out of proportion?

Since when does Apple have a trademark on white stores with a sleak, modern design? The only illegal thing going on is using the Apple logo (And only the logo, A generic name like "Apple Store" -and App Store for that matter- would never be protected in China) on the stores. In Chinese standards, that's pretty harmless.

Other than that, they are selling genuine Apple products. I am of course wondering how they got them, but I seriously doubt they stole them or got them through any illegal activities: the quantities (multiple stores filled with products) is WAY too large to be stolen, and Foxconn and other Apple partners would never allow gray or illegal sales to secure their bond with Apple.

It seems to me, like any other reseller (Best Buy, Mediamarket in the EU, ...) they got the products from Apple and are selling them at a profit. They just happen to do so in white, sleek stores.

So in short: the Apple logo has to go, otherwise these stores are perfect. I think most of you guys are way to obsessed by the Apple brand and are being unreasonable here.
 

Consultant

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Jun 27, 2007
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"China has taken great steps to enforce intellectual property rights ...."

So where do most knock-off products come from??



" The order did not apply to that store, which is **applying** for a reseller licence with Apple, a local government spokesman said." (Globe&Mail)

So it's ok (according to government spokesperson) to use the Apple logo and name, if you planning to "apply" for a license??

.
These fake Apple Stores are selling real products, not knockoffs.
 

Yamcha

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
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I'm not sure I understand this, I'm assuming they are selling real Apple products, but they are not an authorized Apple dealer?

EDIT:
From my understanding they are selling retail products.. I don't see how this could harm Apple in anyway..
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
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...
Since when does Apple have a trademark on white stores with a sleak, modern design? The only illegal thing going on is using the Apple logo (And only the logo, A generic name like "Apple Store" -and App Store for that matter- would never be protected in China) on the stores. In Chinese standards, that's pretty harmless.
....
Since "Chinese law prohibits companies from copying the "look and feel" of other stores" (at least according to the article)...

I can see where you are coming from and i was thinking the same...look&feel is subjective ... but this is an exact knock off, meant to deceive... and when even the Chinese customers (who are used to knock-off goods) are expressing outrage, the authorities have to react.

.
 

Tonewheel

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"China has taken great steps to enforce intellectual property rights ..."

Uh, no you haven't, Hop Sing. See that really big Apple logo outside of every store? That's just one, for starters.
 

Yamcha

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
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All I can say is if they are selling legitimate Apple products I don't see how this could cause any harm.. I'm guessing the problem is they are not authorized to do so..

But either way Apple is going to make a profit.. Now if they were selling Apple look alikes then I can understand why its an issue..

Anyway thats just how I feel about it..
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
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These fake Apple Stores are selling real products, not knockoffs.
if one wants to sell real Apple goods one still should have a re-sellers license, not be in the process of 'applying' for one (according the article). And according to the WSJ, (not a blogger or a chinese spokesperson), not all of the goods are authentic... some were used/fake.

.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
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This is so ridiculous. They are 3rd party partners with Apple and can do whatever they want to drum up business. They sell Apple products inside. These types of stores were all that existed prior to "The Apple Store". People in the US still have a hard time distinguishing "Apple computer center" from "Apple Store". Personally I give my money to the 3rd party stores rather than direct from Apple. The girl who started complaining about this is a moron who apparently does not know Apple warrants their products regardless of who sold them to you.
 

Drunken Master

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"China has taken great steps to enforce intellectual property rights ..."

Uh, no you haven't, Hop Sing. See that really big Apple logo outside of every store? That's just one, for starters.
Who's "Hop Sing"?

Oh, oh, I get it.

Racist prick.
 

ranReloaded

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2010
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Tokyo
Chinese Authorities Close Two Fake Apple Stores Over Permit Issues

...They weren't paying the government for their "License to Infringe Trademarks", and got busted!
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
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Genius Bar

I wonder if the "Genius" section lived up to its name in these stores... not that the real store is a benchmark.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
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This is so ridiculous. They are 3rd party partners with Apple and can do whatever they want to drum up business. They sell Apple products inside. These types of stores were all that existed prior to "The Apple Store". People in the US still have a hard time distinguishing "Apple computer center" from "Apple Store". Personally I give my money to the 3rd party stores rather than direct from Apple. The girl who started complaining about this is a moron who apparently does not know Apple warrants their products regardless of who sold them to you.
I get full Apple Warranty on stolen goods? I think the average consumer has to be careful what they buy and from who.
 
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