An entire Apple store in China has been pirated. Do you know the difference between an Apple Store, and say… an Apple store?  Apparently a several million Chinese don’t, either.

An American expatriate and blogger living in China happened to visit an Apple Store recently in China and saw what she expected: employees in blue t-shirts with the clunky name tag lanyard, white/silver combo interior with panel wood tables covered with iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, and iPods.  She also saw something she didn’t expect, a sign on a glass wall entry that said “Apple Store”, except it was spelled Apple Store, instead of the correct Apple logo with no sign saying anything about being an Apple Store.

The official Apple website lists four stores in all of China; two in Beijing, two in Shanghai.  The problem was, this store was in Kunming, China. The store was convincing, complete with a spiral staircase like the one found at the New York 5th Ave Flagship store.

A recent blogger, BirdAbroad, (aka the expat) managed to take pictures of the store after being roughed up, explaining to them they were Apple employees from the USA looking at locations around the world.  That was enough for the security guards to let them be and take a few pics, which showed a convincing piracy but had tell-tale differences from legit Apple stores.

Apparently, a few of the employees knew the store was a fake but did not seem to care.  A statement from one of the four real stores in China said that often times products at pirated stores are either fake or real but smuggled into the country and sold at considerably higher prices.

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