Cheap Shots, Tech

Cheap Shots: China’s Apple Stoers


By Alex Biles, University of Michigan

Apple’s instantly recognizable logo is known for its trademark bite, but what about its stores?

Some crafty entrepreneurs in China have made biting Apple their trademark with the opening of what appear to be Apple stores, or in some special cases, “stoers.”


Source: BirdAbroad

As reported in an excellent blog piece earlier today, a growing number of knockoff Apple stores, possibly selling knockoff Apple products, are appearing in China. And we’re not talking Beijing and Shanghai here. Our author of this blog piece’s hangout is none other than the burgeoning Chinese city of Kunming, which I had never heard of until today.

Complete with a classic Apple winding staircase and a clean setup resembling its legitimate counterparts, the store is staffed by employees rocking blue tees with the knockoff Apple logo.


Source: BirdAbroad


Source: BirdAbroad


Source: BirdAbroad

Yet, some things were sketchy. The name tags had no names. They simply featured the Apple logo and a mysterious “staff” designation. It’s reported that the stairs were poorly made, and the walls, painted sloppily. Plus, BirdAbroad noted, Apple never writes “Apple Store” on its signs, preferring to keep things simple with the glowing image of its favorite fruit.

Then there’s a quick check of the Apple website’s store locator, which displays a pair of stores in both Beijing and Shanghai – and that’s it. Close, but no cigar, Kunming.

BirdAbroad also reports the cozy encounter that ensued when he attempted to photograph the spectacle:

Clearly, they had also been told that above all, they must protect the brand. As I took these photos I was quickly accosted by two salespeople inside, and three plain clothes security guys outside, putting their hands in my face and telling me to stop taking photographs – that it wasn’t allowed. And why wasn’t it allowed? Because their boss told them so.

As if that weren’t creepy enough, the employees of the “stoers” actually believe they are working for Apple. Somewhere, this greasy bastard of a “boss” is counting his yuan, while oblivious employees and customers fiddle with gadgets which may or may not have been produced in some outsourced Apple “factroy.”

For even more shits and giggles, BirdAbroad notes that a short walk around the block yielded the discovery of not one, but two more knockoff Apple stores.

The crazy libertarian streak in me thinks this is kind of awesome – an ironic middle finger to trademark and copyright protections for corporations. It’s the true epitome of the laissez-faire model that has granted the Chinese tremendous economic growth, lifting millions out of abject poverty.

However, I have to admit being a little freaked out by the deception going on between the employees and their “boss,” coupled with the possibility of customers unknowingly being sold knockoff products.

But, hey. At least there’s no knockoff Taco Bells in China. Right?


Source: BirdAbroad

About NEW STUDENT UNION

The New Student Union is an online magazine run by and for college students covering the issues we care about. Self-starters with great communication skills and a passion for writing should email info@newstudentunion.com to get involved. Official site will launch in late 2011.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: