China is known as the origin of many knockoff goods. But knocking off an entire retail chain? On July 20, an American living in Kunming, China lit up the Internet when she posted photos of a fake Apple store on her BirdAbroad blog. The replica was faithful to the Apple aesthetic, down to the Helvetica signs, the blond wood tables, and the blue-shirted employees, but had no relationship with Cupertino. A lawyer for the entrepreneur behind the stores said his client was “doing Apple a favor.” Chinese authorities quickly shut down two of the stores for invalid business licenses, but three more remain open. Read our tips on how to spot an ersatz Apple.
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