China shutters two bogus Apple Stores. But not that one

July 25, 2011, 10:30 AM UTC

The fake retail outlet that launched a thousand news stories is still open for business

Photo: BirdAbroad

There were developments Monday in everybody’s favorite story about China’s disregard for western intellectual property rights.

China’s official investigation of fake Apple (AAPL) stores in Kunming city — triggered by the discovery by BirdAbroad of a knock-off so convincing that even some of its employees thought they were working for Steve Jobs — turned up four similar stores in the capital of Yunnan province, a city of 6.8 million.

Two of them, according to a local newspaper report that Reuters and the BBC picked up, have been closed. But not for passing themselves off as Apple Stores, complete with wooden tables, T-shirted staffers and Apple signage. Their offense, according to these reports, was that their owners did not have business licenses.

The original store, however, is still thriving, selling real Apple products at full retail prices.

Also thriving is the anonymous author of BirdAbroad, who has taken advantage of the flood of new readers to solicit photos of other unauthorized Apple resellers from around the world. She’s posted several samples, from Burma to Flushing, here.