• China Shuts Down Fake Apple Stores



    In the hit 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy "Coming to America," one of the film's characters - Cleo McDowell - opened his own fast food joint conveniently called "McDowell's," replete with the golden arches, and all the familiar menu items of another fast food chain with a similar name.

    As it turns out, Apple recently learned - in real life, nonetheless - what it actually feels like to be cloned in such close detail that customers literally can't tell the difference between real Apple stores and their fake counterpart. Last Wednesday, as some will recall, MMi reported that a string of cloned Apple stores had popped up in Kunming, China. The subject was particularly newsworthy given that these retail location knock-offs were stunning in their appearance and resemblance to all the attributes of a real Apple store. (The stores do, however, sell real Apple products - those obtained from third-party resellers.)

    This photo inside a fake Apple store in Kunming, China shows bold wall graphics, a wood display counter against the wall, an employee in a Apple logo blue shirt wearing a white name tag on a lanyard, acrylic info cards, iPads on tilted acrylic stands, stone floor, and the "Apple Store" sign. The second level has wood flooring.
    At the time, we speculated as to how long the owners of these fake stores would be allowed to "get away with it." Well, it didn't even take a week to get an answer to that burning question. The two stores in question - one of which is pictured above - have been shut down. The reason? According to Chinese officials, the stores were forced to close due to a lack of proper business permits - not, as Reuters reported, because of piracy or copyright concerns.

    As it should be pointed out, Chinese law expressly prohibits companies from copying the "look and feel" of other companies' stores, "but enforcement is often spotty." You think?

    Source: Reuters
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