DVD bootlegs and ripoffs have been around for awhile now, but what about whole store ripoffs? At least fives “Apple” stores, including two that have already been shut down, are nearly perfect replicas of legitimate Apple stores. Wired reports:
After an American blogger in Kunming posted photos of “a beautiful [Apple store] ripoff” last week, Chinese officials began to investigate around 300 shops in the area, finding five fake Apple stores. Two of the stores, lacking the proper business permits, must now close their doors. Despite the intellectual property concerns, the other three remain open for now.
In China, companies aren’t allowed to copy the “look and feel” of other companies’ stores. These retail outlets are impeccable replicas of Apple stores, down to the winding staircases and employee t-shirts. In fact, the stores are so convincing most staffers believed they worked for an authorized Apple retailer. All five stores sold genuine Apple products, according to a Kunming city official.
[Continues at Wired News]