In the wake of last week’s fake-Apple-Store-in-China story, government officials in China have begun investigating stores that sell Apple products to determine whether or not the stores are operating legally.
Reuters reports that 300 shops in Kunming have been inspected, with five of them “found to be selling Apple products without authorization.” Two of them were ordered to shut down for not having proper business permits.
The shop featured in last week’s article (pictured above) has not been ordered to shut down; it’s apparently awaiting a reseller license from Apple, according to a government official.
Another official claims that the five unauthorized Apple stores found in Kunming had been selling genuine Apple products. While two of them have been ordered to shut down, “Officials couldn’t do anything about the other three stores – which prominently displayed Apple signs and logos – because they did not find any fake Apple products for sale,” according to the Associated Press.
The shop highlighted in last week’s article looked very similar to a real Apple store in appearance, which has led Chinese officials to investigate “whether Apple had applied with the Chinese government to have its store design and layout protected by law,” according to Reuters, which added, “Chinese law prohibits companies from copying the ‘look and feel’ of other companies’ stores, but enforcement is often spotty.”