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Anger floods China’s fake Apple Stores

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It seems as though customers of the fake Apple Stores in China aren’t happy — and neither are the stores’ employees, reports Reuters. After more than 1000 publications (including this one) reported on the existence of the counterfeit Apple retail outlets in Kunming, China, angry customers have started to flood the shops, furious that they had been hoodwinked by the store owners.

“When I heard the news I rushed here immediately to get the receipt, I am so upset,” one customer, nearing tears, told Reuters. “With a store this big, it looks so believable who would have thought it was fake?”

The employees, at least some of whom reportedly believed they were actually employed by Apple, were also upset by the ordeal, but mostly because of the embarrassing and unwanted attention that comes with becoming an Internet sensation.

“The media is painting us to be a fake store but we don’t sell fakes, all our products are real, you can check it yourself,” said an employee who refused to give his name. “There is no Chinese law that says I can’t decorate my shop the way I want to decorate it.”

It is not clear whether the products sold at the three locations, one of which has a sign that reads “Apple Stoer,” are real. According to the Wall Street Journal, at least one of the three fake Apple Stores is not an authorized Apple reseller. That doesn’t mean the products are frauds, however; it simply means the store isn’t getting its inventory through the official lines. At this time, it is not clear where the stores receive their products.

The existence of the fake Apple Store locations was first revealed by an American expatriate who lives in Kunming, a city of 3.2 million, located near the Vietnam and Myanmar boarders. Known as “BirdAbroad” on her WordPress blog, the American recounted her explorations of the store, along with pictures for proof.

BirdAbroad is now encouraging other world travelers to send her pictures of other fake Apple Store locations from around the globe.

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Andrew Couts
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