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Images inside the fake Apple store  (Source: BirdAbroad Blog)
Counterfeiting remains a global problem that only seems to accelerate, despite higher enforcement

Companies continually try to fight counterfeit and pirated material, but often fall short of successfully making a difference in stopping this billion-dollar industry.  

Counterfeiters are willing to steal anything from cash and tech products to gas, oil and cigarettes that consumers are mistakenly purchasing under the misconception of receiving real products.

Investigators in China are looking into a counterfeit Apple store that closely mimics a legitimate Apple store in other parts of the world.  The store is located in Kunming and isn't identified as an authorized Apple retailer, and police investigators visited the store.  From blogger photos and on-site investigation, even the employees wore identical Apple employee t-shirts you'd see in any other Apple store.

Ironically, the demand for counterfeit goods could generate larger business revenue for Apple, if the company wants to promote legal products.  A real iPad 2 can be purchased for up to $499, and in other parts of China can reach almost $600 in price, with counterfeiters able to draw in shoppers by offering lower-cost products.  

Other tech companies have adjusted price scales depending how prevalent pirated and stolen property is in China and other parts of the world, while also creating anti-counterfeit investigation teams.

Although it would seem unbelievable, similar faked stores have opened to sell counterfeit clothing and other consumer goods -- both inside China's borders, and across the world, including into the United States.

Consumers often ignore counterfeiting as solely a corporate problem, but companies warn everyone plays a role.  When shoppers head into neighborhoods to purchase fake handbags or movies, they understand it's a faked product; however, consumers purchasing counterfeit goods are being deceived into thinking it's a legitimate product.

Anti-counterfeit efforts have greatly increased by US federal authorities and across the world -- and it's not just the Chinese government that has to face this growing problem.  Authorities have discovered counterfeit goods can be significantly more profitable than drugs, with higher profit value and lower risk of jail time when caught.

A recent counterfeit smuggling ring based in China was busted making more than 11 million fake cigarettes with an estimated street value of almost $5M.  These cigarettes were aimed for the UK market, but increasing tobacco tax in the United States also makes it a lucrative market for fake cigarettes.  

Furthermore, counterfeit issues also plague medical patients trying to purchase real medications that are brought in from Mexico, South America, and other parts of the world.  Another recent epidemic includes fake consumer electronics that lead to hardware failure and electrical fires.  US investigators are most worried about these types of products being sold over the Internet, brought into the country, and otherwise hitting the streets due to public safety issues.

Companies from multiple industries plan to battle counterfeit goods, and actively assist police and federal authorities, as billions of dollars are up for grabs by sometimes clever criminals.  These companies also are trying to launch education efforts to help consumers to pay attention to the products they purchase, and where these items are reportedly coming from.



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Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By cpeter38 on 7/25/2011 5:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
I am not an Apple Hater - I own an iPhone 4.

However, the temptation to bait the iFanbois is sooo tempting.

Too bad they don't have a sense of humor ...




RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By Scabies on 7/25/2011 5:32:32 PM , Rating: 5
I paid DOUBLE what you did for my sense of humor. Clearly mine is better.


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By akugami on 7/25/2011 7:15:51 PM , Rating: 5
Except you bought yours at the Humore Store.


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By brshoemak on 7/25/2011 9:29:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Except you bought yours at the Humore Store.
I trademarked anything with the word 'store' in it. Expect to be served papers tomorrow.


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By jtemplin on 7/25/2011 9:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
Worst. Thread. Ever.


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By DJ Brandon on 7/25/2011 10:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Worst thread because your a fanboy? =)


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By damianrobertjones on 7/26/2011 3:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
You're


By neogrin on 7/26/2011 12:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're


...a Grammar Nazi?


By karlostomy on 7/25/2011 11:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
Best. Thread. Ever.


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By priusone on 7/25/2011 9:53:18 PM , Rating: 2
I just trademarked a "magic wall", in which part of it 'magically' opens to allow persons or items through said wall.

Have fun getting into your store without one of these magical items. And don't go and cry 'prior art' and such. Haters.


By aharris02 on 7/26/2011 11:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
Actually you would have patented a "magic wall".

No matter how truly magical it is, you can't trademark a physical invention.


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By Natch on 7/26/2011 8:16:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I paid DOUBLE what you did for my sense of humor. Clearly mine is better.

quote:
Except you bought yours at the Humore Store.

.... and you're holding it wrong!!

The saddest part is that people have proven that Apple computers can now be built so much cheaper (as I'm sure is true for every other product built by Apple), but the fanboys don't care....they'd rather pay their top shelf prices, for mediocre quality equipment, just to keep their self assured smugness intact.


RE: Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Troll.
By Conner on 7/26/11, Rating: -1
By Boze on 7/26/2011 9:43:52 AM , Rating: 4
Okay, I'll bite this troll post...

The only time in the history of the company that Apple stock was $53 dollars a share was in late 2005.

Since 2005, it hasn't split one time. Let's assume you sold 4 shares, since its at $398 a share now and you paid $1500 for your MBA by your own admission. There's no way to know exactly how many shares you purchased, but let's go with 100 for a nice, easy to compute number. That's $5,300 worth of Apple stock. Nowadays you have a cool $39,800.

Around the same time in 2005, you could have bought Baidu.com, Inc. for around $8 a share. Which is now trading at $156 a share. On top of that, it had a 10:1 split on May 12, 2010.

662.5 shares for the $5300 you spent. Which is now 6625 shares. Which is $1,033,500.

Now the reason I know this is because [i]I[/i] bought 100 shares of Baidu.com, Inc. in 2005. So I don't have a million dollars. It was an $800 investment which is now valued at $156,000.

Sure beats my friends who spent their money on an Apple product instead of putting it into Baidu stock.

Feel that your trackpad is a mm too low? Don't bother getting it fixed at the store; buy a new laptop instead. You won't even have to [b]worry[/b] about holding it wrong.

P.S., I still have an Pentium III 600 mHz-based machine that's running Asterisk PBX and [b]not[/b] chugging along, actually doing something useful... and seriously good luck doing the same thing with a PowerPC-based Mac from the same period.

------------------

Am I smug? No, but judging by the above post, I think if I bought enough iPads, I might get used to it.


By jr9k on 7/26/2011 4:53:47 AM , Rating: 3
I don't care


Wait... What???
By SilthDraeth on 7/25/2011 5:22:08 PM , Rating: 3
When shoppers head into neighborhoods to purchase fake handbags or movies, they understand it's a faked product ; however, consumers purchasing counterfeit goods are being deceived into thinking it's a legitimate product.

So they understand it is fake, but are deceived into thinking it is legitimate?

Actually the reason most people buy counterfeit purses, etc, is obviously they can not afford the real thing, however they want other people to think they can... or they just like the look of it, and could care less what brand it is.




RE: Wait... What???
By bplewis24 on 7/25/2011 5:46:50 PM , Rating: 4
In the first bolded portion the reference is to "knockoffs" and in the second bolded portion, the reference is to counterfeits. They aren't the same thing. A knockoff is known to be of lesser quality and cheaper than the authentic item it replicates and often has a different but similar name. Instead of buying Gucci, a person looking for a knockoff would buy a Gucco, let's say.

But a person looking to buy a Gucci who ends up with a counterfeit doesn't know it's not authentic, and the product will be labeled as "Gucci".

In fact your last sentence explaining why people would buy a counterfeit purse is actually an example of a person buying a knockoff, not a counterfeit.


RE: Wait... What???
By sprockkets on 7/25/2011 9:47:19 PM , Rating: 1
Heh, except in this case what apple losers see as "knockoffs" are of higher quality and isn't over priced.


RE: Wait... What???
By Maiyr on 7/25/2011 10:05:11 PM , Rating: 1
Not true in New York.
You buy a counterfeit/knockoff/whatever and it says Gucci, not Gucco or anything else.

Maiyr


RE: Wait... What???
By someguy123 on 7/25/2011 10:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
He's saying that knockoffs are products that look the same but are obviously not, like Rolox watches.

The stuff sold in new york that are still branded correctly are considered counterfeit and trick you into believing you're buying the real deal, or at least attempt to.


RE: Wait... What???
By Landiepete on 7/26/2011 1:25:34 AM , Rating: 2
What about all the people that want a 'Rolex' watch to impress their friends and neighbours, but are not willing to part with the best part of 5000 USD for the privilege ? They actively look for the best 'counterfeit' they can get for 25 USD, knowing full well it's a fake, but wish to continue the charade to boost their egos ?


RE: Wait... What???
By Ilfirin on 7/25/2011 7:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
My question is whether all the employees are in on it or not - you'd kinda think they wouldn't be. In which case, what happens when one of them goes to a real Apple store with their previous work history on their resume, not even aware they worked at a fake one?


By troysavary on 7/25/2011 8:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
I would laugh my ass off if I found out my suspicion was true. It would be hilarious if Foxconn was making fake Apple products at a much larger profit than the ones they build for Apple under contract.




By kmmatney on 7/25/2011 8:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt that Foxconn does this, but I've heard than some Chinese factories run a "Night Shift" to create the same product for home sale. They are usually made with inferior materials, and they cut whatever corners they can get away with, but it does come out of the same factory as real products. I know this happened for sure with tennis racquets.


By superstition on 7/25/2011 10:17:23 PM , Rating: 4
And those probably end up on Ebay.

Counterfeit badminton racquets are a bit deal there. One sucker I know spent $100 on a "Yonex" thinking he was getting a fantastic deal. A college degree didn't teach him that if something seems to good to be true...

Of course, our entire culture needs to learn that lesson. Our love for "cheap" products is sending our standard of living over to China and leaving us poorer and unemployed.


By Landiepete on 7/26/2011 1:33:21 AM , Rating: 2
Some big brands actually do this themselves. They are approache by big chains to produce a certain product at a bottom dolla price.
For instance, a company, let's call them 'Appliance Emporium', will ask an 'A' brand appliance manufacturer to supply 1000 refrigerators carrying said 'A' brand tag for as cheap as possible.

When you buy this refrigerator and something goes awry, you call the service desk, only to find out the company does not have the model number on the books and parts are not available.

Official counterfeiting, that.


By inperfectdarkness on 7/26/2011 6:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
free exploding iphone & resultant brain-trauma with each purchase!


China sure is in the headlines alot lat$@@....
By Smartless on 7/25/2011 5:28:57 PM , Rating: 3
Too bad the press isn't that great. What amazes me is the manufacture of fake goods, especially electronics. I mean they're able to hack and mimic quite a bit of sophisticated hardware AND software while still being cheap POS's. What's ironic is here we have China who will give the lowest bidder the shot on top of shortcuts being taken next to Japan who puts quality above all else.




By superstition on 7/25/2011 5:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
What's ironic is American companies complaining about China being China.

There's a reason why China can beat us so much in the manufacturing market, and it's not because of terribly fat-cat union workers.


By karlostomy on 7/25/2011 11:16:30 PM , Rating: 3
For those who have forgotten history...

Japan was in a major export boom from 1950-1984.
They artificially pegged their exchange rate low and thus enabled huge amounts of cheap exports, while discouraging expensive imports.
Japan spent significant resources on adopting overseas technology and reverse engineering IP, thus achieving growth via Capital investment, labour productivity and total factor productivity.

This led to the Plaza accord of 1984, where the US and Germany exerted political pressure on Japan to stop pegging their artificial exchange rate, so as to correct the artificial global trade imbalance.

Due to the isolationist nature of the Japanese economy (no Foreign direct investment allowed) they were forced to comply and balance was restored to the Capital account (trade balance).

Fast forward to 2011.
China is in a major export boom from 1995-2011.
They artificially peg their exchange rate low and thus enable huge amounts of cheap exports, while discouraging expensive imports.
China spends significant resources on adopting overseas technology and reverse engineering existing IP, thus achieving growth via Capital investment, labour productivity and total factor productivity.....


By Yames on 7/25/2011 6:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
This is an example from a few years ago. I was amazed at the similarities.

http://tinyurl.com/yonbsv


Products?
By Leeder on 7/26/2011 9:30:30 AM , Rating: 2
The article doesn't make it clear, does the fake store sell fake products or actual Apple Hardware?




RE: Products?
By Flux0r on 7/26/2011 9:48:28 AM , Rating: 2
The fake store sells counterfeit Apple products. They have also apparently counterfeited Apple's wonky moral compass, and shady business tactics.


RE: Products?
By mellomonk on 7/26/2011 11:16:33 AM , Rating: 2
There are more photos and posts in some of the Mac community sites. It appears that the main products in at least three of the five fake stores in question were legit Apple products. Some of the accessories being sold along side of the products where sketchy or at least inconsistent with those sold by the real Apple Stores, but the computers and like were real. They even diagnosed and serviced them from the Genius Bar. The employees even thought they worked for Apple and were incensed to learn of the controversy over their stores. You simply have a remarkably detailed, brazen, and possibly illegal reseller here.


Used to it
By superstition on 7/25/2011 5:23:45 PM , Rating: 3
Whenever a politician speaks, you're hearing counterfeit plans.

"We represent hope and change for America!"

(We represent more money for the rich and less for everyone else.)

Along with these counterfeit sellers of false hope, we have our fraudulent system that rewards crooks at the top with retroactive immunity, bailouts, and the like -- and which imprisons more people per capita than anywhere else.

I'm not going to cry for Apple.




RE: Used to it
By bplewis24 on 7/25/2011 5:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
Cool story bro.


question
By sprockkets on 7/25/2011 10:08:25 PM , Rating: 3
Q: How can you tell a fake apple store from a real one?

A: The employees are leaning wrong.

Q: What's the difference between the iphone from the fake store and the real one?

A: $600, though the fake one is missing the magical feeling you get that you just wasted your entire year's wage on a phone.




I've heard....
By Souka on 7/25/2011 7:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
I've heard in China the only prodcut you can buy and be sure it's legit, is a product advertised as conterfeit.
aka, "fake rollex watch"




"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard











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