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Fake Apple Stores Shut Down

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So much for the respect of a spot-on impression.

Bloomberg reported today that Chinese authorities have shuttered two fake Apple Stores in Kunming, China for operating without business licenses. Three other so-called "Apple Stores" in the area were allowed to continue -- despite plastering the Apple logo across the store without permission -- after investigators found they had operating permits.

But apparently, the investigation extends to 300 electronic vendors in the city. And judging from Justin Rohrlich's report on Friday, authorities have their work cut out for them.

Last week, the story broke when the blog BirdAbroad posted an account of the counterfeit Apple Store and included amazing pictures of just how detailed the recreation was. Although the original story claimed that even the employees were convinced that their place of work was legit, one employee told the Wall Street Journal that no, they are aware that they're a big bunch of phonies.

The story was then thankfully lampooned with Taiwanese CGI by the good people at NMA.

Jim Tang, a technology analyst at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. in Shanghai, told Bloomberg that the fake Apple Stores pop up throughout the country because supply still doesn't meet the insatiable demand. He even goes so far as putting the blame for rampant counterfeiting on Apple.

"In areas outside of the biggest cities, it's difficult to find Apple products, and there is strong demand," Tang said. "For a big country like China, Apple's sales network doesn't go far enough, and the company needs to expand."

But China isn't the only ones in need of some Apple gadgetry. If this picture is any indication, Steve Jobs better give Croatia some thought, too.

(See also: Apple's Steve Jobs Mocked by Taiwan's Infamous CGI and Chinese Scammers Counterfeit an Entire Apple Store!)

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