Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Three of the Fake Apple Stores in Kunming, China Are A Little Less Fake Than the Other Two

Image via <a href="">BirdAbroad</a>
Image via BirdAbroad

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

While none of those five fake Apple stores in China are actually real Apple stores, three of them are allowed to stay in business because they have the right permits. Naturally, the other two store owners who were told to close up are a little peeved about this, as one of the employees stated: "There is no Chinese law that says I can't decorate my shop the way I want to decorate it."

Well, decorating your shop is kind of different from selling Apple products in a non-Apple store, so technically there is a Chinese law against it. But there's a loophole, and the other three stores have managed to wiggle around the issue because they've scored those coveted permits. Or, as Gizmodo explains, "It seems that in China, selling authentic Apple products in an inauthentic Apple store is actually legal, as long as you've sweet-talked the right government officials." Interestingly enough, Apple has yet to comment on all the hoopla.

Yu Cheng, a man who owns some of the falsies that haven't been shut down, has applied to open an authorized Apple store. He also said that he's "doing Apple a favor."

And Paul French, the founder of the Shanghai-based market research company Access Asia, says: "The Chinese are suckers for iPhones and iPads, just like everybody else," and that "an Apple store is one of the easiest stores to do; that's the genius of it. It's so simple. It's just like a school chemistry lab." Except clearly it's not, since two out of five have been busted.
· Three of the Five Fake Apple Stores Are Allowed to Stay Open Because They're Actually Legit [Gizmodo]
· Fake Apple Stores Crop Up on China Demand [Bloomberg]
· There Are At Least Three Fake Apple Stores in Kunming, China [Racked]