Fake “Apple Stoer”
A blogger in China uncovered a phony Apple Store in Kunming, China, the capital of Yunnan province in Southwestern China. It is neither an official re-seller nor a true Apple property, although the owners have gone to great lengths to mimic the style and feeling of typical Apple Stores.
The most interesting facet of this story is that both sources claim the employees of the store believe they work for Apple and Steve Jobs. I’m wondering if the employees are aware that they work for a store that has no connection to Apple other than the products they’re selling (authentic or not). For the employees to openly admit that they don’t work for Apple when the store is trying so hard to appear genuine would promote disharmony and would cause a loss of face, two things Chinese culture generally prohibits.
This also makes me think of the employment market in China and what attracts young Chinese to foreign companies. From both a cultural and generational perspective, I’d suspect innovative Western companies top the list. Do they? Read my related post on the employment market in China for more insight.
The demand for products with Western brands has had a robust consumer market for so long in China that fakes abound in places where the real thing doesn’t reach. What better place than a second or third-tier Chinese city? I wonder how this store’s management recruited it’s retail representatives. In any case, intellectual property as a concept does not fly so high in China.