China is well-known for its knock-offs of devices, DVDs, CDs, and more, but they've outdone themselves this time. They've gone and cloned Apple retail stores.
It looked like an Apple store, but it didn't smell like an Apple store to a pair of Americans who stumbled onto it in Kunming in southwestern China. Looking at the images, one could at first glance, say the story looked like , until one looked carefully.
For one thing, Apple does not put Apple Store on its store signs. Instead, it just puts its Apple logo.
For another, the paint, stairways, and other accoutrements seemed rather cheap.
The name tags around the necks of the salespeople didn’t have names on them, as they should, but instead just an Apple logo and the designation “Staff."
Additionally, a quick check of Apple's website showed that they don't have a store in Kunming. They certainly don't have three of them (walking around the vicinity of the first fake store showed two more fake Apple Stores).
We're guessing that the products are knock-offs, too, although it's not clear. It's possible this could be a distributor that decided to make itself look more official, but it's more likely these are fake products, too.
Sadly, the employees actually believe they are working for Apple. Our guess is that any benefits they have (and it is China, after all), are significantly less than the actual company gives.
Hopefully they don't have their bubble burst by reading this; it's possible they may be saved from embarrassment by the Great Firewall of China.