When Apple announced record-high quarterly revenues and profits yesterday, COO Tim Cook noted that China--where the company's four stores bring in the most traffic and revenue of any Apple stores in the world--was "key to our results." That growing popularity among Chinese consumers, however, may also explain the incredible discovery an American living in Kunming, the capital of China's southwestern Yunnan Province, revealed on her blog, Bird Abroad, today: an elaborate and strikingly realistic fake Apple store.
The whole thing began innocently enough. A couple weeks ago, the blogger and her husband stumbled upon what appeared to be an Apple store near their house. The scene, pictured above, had all the trappings of the company's iconic retail outlets. There was the winding staircase:
The Genius Bar and upstairs sit-and-play-with-our-products area:
The employees with blue T-shirts and Apple name tags:
But there were also suspicious signs. Kunming, as the blogger put it, "is the end of the Earth." Why would there be an Apple store there? What's more, the stairs were shoddy, the walls were painted poorly, the employees' name tags only said "staff." And then there was the matter of the signs. Apple Store signs generally just show the company's trademark fruit symbol. The Kunming store's signs read, "Apple Store."