Probe finds 22 fake Apple Stores in one town

Chinese Authorities have had a root about in Kunming city and found a total of 22 fake Apple Stores lurking in its streets and back passages.

The shop plod were initially alerted to the problem of premises decked out to look like Apple Stores when a blogger writing under the moniker BirdAbroad exposed a bunch of lookalikes in the town.

"This was a total Apple store ripoff. A beautiful ripoff - a brilliant one - the best ripoff store we had ever seen, and we see them every day. But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn’t been painted properly," the blogger wrote.

The Store's bosses had even managed to convince staff that they were working for Apple. "Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple. Clearly, they had also been told that above all, they must protect the brand."

The attention the blog attracted lead to two of the stores to be shut down for trading without a licence. But now Administration for Industry and Commerce officials say they have discovered 22 more shops in Kunming masquerading as Apple-branded outlets.

It is not clear just how Apple-alike the shops are but According to Xinhua News Agency officials have now set up a hot-line to encourage shoppers to report dubious-looking retailers.