12. August 2011
Apple is one of the biggest suppliers of computer software, iPhones, iPod, iPad, consumer electronics, computers etc. The company is well known for its web browser Safari, and a mobile operating system iOS. It has about 500 stores worldwide and also has an online store. However, Chinese authorities have discovered another 22 fake Apple stores in the city of Kunming, situated in southwest of China.
The news of fake Apple stores in Kunming arose last month when a visitor of the city found three such fake stores during his visit and wrote on a blog concerning about the stores where the salesman were certain that they were working for the real Apple company. After that, about 300 shops in Kunming underwent investigation in July.
According to the report of the China Daily on Thursday, the Administration for Industry and Commerce of China ordered the fake stores to stop the illegal use of Apple’s logo when the Apple China alleged the stores for violating copyright rules and for an unfair competition. The crackdown started earlier this month and the stores were ordered to stop using the logo by August 10.
The agency said that it would open a monitoring services and a complaint hotline in order to prevent further violations. But, it has not yet been known that whether the stores were selling the genuine Apple’s products or smuggled models.
“Chinese law protects trademarks and prohibits companies from copying the ‘look and feel’ of other companies’ stores. But enforcement is spotty, and the United States and other Western countries have often complained China is woefully behind in its effort to stamp out intellectual property (IP) theft,” Reuters on its report said.
In China Apple’s products are high on demands from consumers. But, Apple has only four official stores in China: two in Beijing and two in Shanghai. On the other hand China is the second largest market for downloads from Apple’s App stores. Based on the huge demand on the product of Apple in China, it is the right time for Apple to increase its official stores and business centers in China.