Chinese authorities find 22 more fake Apple stores

Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:14am EDT

Fake iPhones are displayed at a mobile phone stall in Shanghai August 11, 2011. REUTERS/Aly Song

Fake iPhones are displayed at a mobile phone stall in Shanghai August 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

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(Reuters) - Authorities in China's southwestern city of Kunming have identified another 22 unauthorized Apple retailers weeks after a fake of the company's store in the city sparked an international storm.

China's Administration for Industry and Commerce in the Yunnan provincial capital said the stores have been ordered to stop using Apple's logo after Apple China accused them of unfair competition and violating its registered trademark, state media said on Thursday.

The market watchdog agency said it would set up a complaint hotline and boost monitoring, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

It did not say if the shops were selling knock-off Apple products or genuine but smuggled models.

Countless unauthorized resellers of Apple and other brands' electronic products throughout China sell the real thing but buy their goods overseas and smuggle them into the country to escape taxes.

In July, inspections of around 300 shops in Kunming were carried out after a blog post by an American living in the city exposed a near-flawless fake Apple Store where even the staff were convinced they were working for the California-based iPhone and iPad maker.

Chinese law protects trademarks and prohibits companies from copying the "look and feel" of other companies' stores.

But enforcement is spotty, and the United States and other Western countries have often complained China is woefully behind in its effort to stamp out intellectual property (IP) theft.

In May, China was listed for the seventh year by the U.S. Trade Representative's office as a country with one of the worst records for preventing copyright theft.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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Comments (4)
edgyinchina wrote:
This is like going after drug dealers… You can close one down, and two more will open up. You can close 22 and 35 more will open up someplace else…. As long as it is deemed profitable, people will try to do it.
This is simple economics… supply and demand…

Aug 11, 2011 8:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ronryegadfly wrote:
If China refuses to respect our laws and participate in intellectual property theft and cyber theft, we should do the same to them.

Aug 11, 2011 10:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Flaw wrote:
That would only work if China actually created something. They create nothing.They make items using others specs.What item has china ever created? So I really think trying to return the favor will fail. Unless we make knock offs of their knock offs. How will we ever win in that? yeah paying some lazy fat ass union worker $25hr. You could buy 5 or more workers in China. Lets face it, free trade is only free to the people competing against us. I say screw free trade. Its time America protected our self. They manipulate their currency and we do nothing. They oppress their workforce.. we do nothing. Our generation is soft and too politically correct! Our ancestors would slap the crap outta us if they were around to see what our country has become. Unless you are one of the folks demanding more while riding a Honda with an American flag helmet with the “Proud American” patch on your coat.
WWGD
What would grandpop do

Aug 12, 2011 11:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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