China inspects electronics stores after fake Apple shops report

SHANGHAI Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:44pm EDT

Customers and employees are seen inside a fake Apple Store in Kunming, Yunnan province July 22, 2011. REUTERS/Aly Song

Customers and employees are seen inside a fake Apple Store in Kunming, Yunnan province July 22, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese industrial and commercial authorities in Kunming have started to inspect all of the southwestern city's electronics shops after an American blogger wrote about fake Apple stores, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

The inspections were carried out after three self-named "Apple Stores" were exposed via the Internet, but are not authorized by Apple Inc., it said.

The inspections will look into business licenses, authorized permits on brand use, and the purchase channel of each store, said a worker with the city's industrial and commercial department.

The result of the inspections will be announced to the public soon, the worker said.

The three alleged fake Apple Stores were discovered by a traveling blogger named "BirdAbroad," who posted photos and challenged the stores' legitimate status and rights to use Apple's logo which sparked a media and online frenzy.

Apple has four genuine Apple Stores in Beijing and Shanghai and none in Kunming in Yunnan province. The company has 13 authorized resellers in Kunming.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Wong; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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