Skip to main content

Anger floods China’s fake Apple Stores


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?”

Related Videos

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Apple’s first attempt to delay third-party app store payments fails in court
App store icon showing three notifications.

Apple will have to allow third-party developers the ability to link outside the App Store pretty soon. After appealing the ruling in the Epic case that said it had to allow for third-party links and buttons in App Store apps and requesting a denial, the company was met with a refusal by a federal court in Oakland.

By its telling, Apple's motion for a stay was based on a need to protect its customers and developers by building new policies to accommodate the new state of play and remove the prohibition on anti-steering it had enshrined.

Read more
Google opens up Play Store payments in South Korea in response to legislation
Google Play Store.

Google is finally letting developers in South Korea implement third-party payment solutions in their apps in response to new legislation. Going forward, users will be able to select between Google Play billing and an alternate option of the developer's choice, the company explained.

The move comes after the South Korean Telecommunications Business Act was amended to keep companies from forcing mandatory use of their own in-app purchases systems. The primary reason the in-app purchasing system has been targeted is that developers have had to pay a mandatory 30% fee, cutting into profitability for small businesses. Google's adaptation will still require developers to show the Play Store billing system, but they'll now be able to use potentially cheaper third parties. Google will share further details and guidelines around implementation in the coming weeks.

Read more
WhatsApp’s online backups are getting end-to-end encryption
The WhatsApp logo.

Facebook is tightening WhatsApp's security by extending end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to cloud backups via an update to the app on iOS and Android. This was already allowed this on local WhatsApp backups, but the company will extend these security tools to online backups made to iCloud and Google Drive.

"Starting today, we are making available an extra, optional layer of security to protect backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption. No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users' messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backup," the WhatsApp team shared this week.

Read more