22 more fake Apple stores uncovered in China

Unclear whether the fake store products are smuggled or counterfeit
Kerry Butters
Kerry Butters -

apple

A further 22 rotten Apple stores have been uncovered in a city in China following a complaint filed with Chinese authorities by Apple.

Authorities in Kunming said that a number of stores branded with Apple logos have been ordered to cease using them, according to a report by the BBC. The stores were accused of violating the company’s registered trademark and also of unfair competition.

A complaints hotline is in the process of being set up in order to unearth more of the stores and monitoring efforts are to be boosted. It is not clear if the products in the stores are genuine smuggled goods which are brought into the country through Hong Kong to avoid taxes, or fake copies.

Chinese watchdogs carried out spot inspections of over 300 shops in the city last month after the first were unearthed by an American living in the country and came to worldwide attention through her blog.

The law in China prohibits companies from copying the “look and feel” of stores in order to protect genuine trademarks.

China is thought to be one of the countries that struggles to enforce the laws and has one of the worst records in the world for preventing copyright and intellectual property theft.

It is thought that the shops employ people who think they are genuinely working for Apple and the employees wear Apple name tags.

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