The authorities in the Kunming province in China have identified 22 more fake Apple Stores since reports of Apple Store knockoffs have surfaced in July.
Apple China has accused these stores for violation its trademark, and officials say that the stores have been ordered to remove or stop using the company’s logo. The Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce in the province will not be taking any serious legal action, saying that “the stores have been ordered to stop using Apple’s logo after Apple China accused them of unfair competition and violating its registered trademark, state media said on Thursday.” Some people question how did stores that sell Apple’s own products become an “unfair competition.”
Two fake Apple stores have been shut down by the authorities in Kunming. It was reported that these shops were closed due to lack of business licenses, instead of copyright or intellectual property infringement.
The news quickly became a hit after a 27-year-old American posted a blog post about the odd placement of an Apple retail store in what she called “the end of the Earth.” When she investigated further, she saw some inconsistencies, which include incorrect employee name tags and a misspelled sign. The blogger also said that even the employees thought they were working for the Cupertino tech giants.
Chinese law prohibits businesses from copying the “look and feel” of other stores. Unfortunately, their enforcement is spotty, and Western countries, including the United States, have complained that China is behind in its effort to stop intellectual property theft.