Just when you thought all of the buzz surrounding those fake Apple stores in China was starting to die down, the Today show takes a trip to Kunming.
While we’ve seen a number of photos of the city’s unofficial Apple shops, the crew of the NBC morning show managed to snag some video from the inside of the stores, as well as interviews with some of the store managers. The store’s employees didn’t want to show their faces on camera, but the footage does give a nice peek inside the store from various angles — and to be honest, it’s easy to see why so many people believed it was the real deal.
From the table layout and design to the presentation of the products and clear acrylic signage, the store certainly seems to have the look and feel of a genuine Apple store. Even NBC’s reporter seemed to be uncertain what was real and what wasn’t in the video.
Just in case you haven’t been following the story all along, everything began when an American living in Kunming posted some photos of one of the stores on her blog. The images caught fire online and were quickly disseminated around the Internet, eventually making their way to mainstream media.
After the story caught the attention of the Chinese government, the stores were investigated for potential copyright infringement and other legal issues. Two of the stores were forced to close, but not due to any issues stemming from their impersonation of an authorized Apple retailer — they were forced to close because they didn’t have the proper business permits.
Ironically, none of the stores spotlighted in the American blogger’s initial photos and blog post were among those targeted for closure.