Officials consult Apple before closing more suspect stores (2)

15:13, July 26, 2011      

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The investigation, after looking into about 300 shops in the city, found five unauthorized Apple stores, according to a report seen on the Kunming city government's website.

Two of the five stores without business licenses have been closed, while three are still operating.

Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Apple based in California, declined to comment on the fake stores when she was interviewed by China Daily.

Instead, she suggested consumers turn to a page on Apple's Chinese website, which lists authorized resellers.

A saleswoman at one of the three unauthorized Apple stores, who declined to reveal her name, said the shop owner is applying for authorization from the California-based IT giant and hopes to become licensed in the near future.

The shop has even seen an increase in business because of the wide media coverage it has received, she said.

However, Liu Yinliang, a legal expert at Peking University, said it was illegal for a reseller to use Apple's brand and logo without the company's approval under the Law Against Competition by Inappropriate Means.

China has four authorized Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai, although the US electronics company has labeled China a "key market". In contrast, it has 236 stores in the United States.


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