Product pirating hits Apple -- and Apple stores
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: China is notorious for all its counterfeit products, like handbags or clothes or even electronic gadgets. But now some Chinese forgers are moving on from faking products -- to faking whole stores.
From Hong Kong, here's the BBC's Andrew Wood.
ANDREW WOOD: Officially, there are only four Apple stores in mainland China -- two in Beijing, and two in Shanghai. So residents in southern China were surprised this week to find an Apple store open up in the city of Yunming.
The computers looked real. The shop, one American blogger living in Yunming wrote, had a classic Apple store winding staircase and the employees all wore the blue Apple store uniform shirts. But the paint job wasn't up to the standards she expected from Apple. And the sign outside said "Apple store" in English - authentic Apple stores apparently just have the Apple logo.
Matt Yglesias is a liberal reporter at the Center for American Progress. He was recently in China when he came across another fake Apple store in a different city, Yiwu.
MATT YGLESIAS: Well i would say the biggest clue was the packaging of the products which was all written in English, as if it wasn't actually designed to be sold on the Chinese market.
Counterfeit products are common in China. But increasingly, discerning Chinese customers want to buy authentic items, so they prefer to shop at flagship stores owned by the Western companies that make the goods.
Incredibly, reports are that the employees of the store even thought they worked for Apple.
In Hong Kong, I'm the BBC's Andrew Wood, for Marketplace.