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Knockoff In-N-Out Burger Appears in Shanghai

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On the heels of a successful duping of Kunming's Apple fans (but not one intrepid Yank with a nose for ripoffs), China's shanzhai masters have now dashed the hopes of burger-loving expats living in Shanghai.

Yesterday, Jessica Colwell of Shanghaiist posted the following photo and asked excitedly: "In-N-Out Burger coming to Shanghai?"

Image from Reddit.

"We promise you we have our best people working on this," wrote Colwell. "A few photos of what appears to be an In-N-Out ad taken in Shanghai have spurred speculation online that we could be going it 'animal style' in the foreseeable future."

She noted that online comments tended toward the skeptical, before offering that, if it it was fake, it was "one of the most impressive knock-off ads we've seen, maybe ever."

Readers were excited -- and inquiring minds wanted to know all. bpritchard asked:

If they are coming to Shanghai, I'm curious about two things:

1. Do they have the balls to put their irritating little Biblical verses on their packaging?

2. Are they going to translate the secret menu into Chinese? That would be tremendous.

But photo_la was skeptical:

in-n-out burger will NEVER come to china. sorry to break the news but it shouldnt be any surprise, they have just barely broken out of california.

Speculation ran rampant for a good 24 hours, with some insisting China could be too tempting a market for In-N-Out to resist, even though the chain has limited its range to the West Coast of the US for the entirety of its existence.

Others said they'd be happy with a fake In-N-Out over no In-N-Out at all.

Then, today, hopes were dashed by In-N-Out corporate.

In an email to expat mag CityWeekend, a spokesperson said:

“In response to your question, we hope to expand as far as we can, but do not have any immediate plans for Shanghai at this time. We do hope to continue expanding, but are always careful not to open a new location until we can guarantee the same quality food and service as we provide in our existing locations. But thanks to customers like you, hopefully you will see us in more areas in the future!”

How will the shanzhai In-N-Out compare to the real article? Hard to say. However, they do as good a job as Beijing's Shijingshan Amusement Park did with this horse zebra...

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