Those impressively fake Apple stores in Kunming, China, were undoubtedly destined for doom after they enjoyed global fame last week. Two of the five stores have already been shut down, but surprisingly, Apple has had nothing to do with it.
Instead, the Chinese authorities have stepped in and closed the stores because they lack the proper business licenses, according to Bloomberg. Over 300 electrical good stores were inspected in the city, and only two of the five Apple store fakes were forced to close; the other three have the necessary licenses to continue to do business.
Yu Cheng, who owns three of the copycat Apple stores, believes he is “doing Apple a favor” by selling its products, and has now applied to be an authorized Apple reseller. However, even if Apple declines his request, Yu isn’t violating any Chinese laws according to Deng Hai, a lawyer with Sichuan Law Offices who represents the businessman.
Shortly after these counterfeit Apple stores were exposed last week, outraged customers who were unaware of their real status returned to the store to demand proof that their purchases are genuine. However, without these knockoff stores, customers outside of China’s big cities may not be able to get their hands on Apple goods so easily.
Jim Tang, a technology analyst at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. in Shanghai, said:
In areas outside of the biggest cities, it’s difficult to find Apple products, and there is strong demand. For a big country like China, Apple’s sales network doesn’t go far enough, and the company needs to explained.
While three stores have the necessary business licenses to operate, they continue to use Apple’s logo without authorization and will likely be the next to go.