Five Fake Apple Stores Discovered…

Last week, 5 fake Apple stores were discovered in China. Today, it’s reported that the Chinese government has closed two of them. Three others were left open because they had operating permits, even though they are not sanctioned by Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL).

Apparently, Apple hasn’t said a thing about these fake stores, or the ones that were left open. That’s just weird, because Apple obsessively protects its products and reputation. If you breakdown an iPhone and reveal the components on the Internet, Apple might sue you or have police arrest you.

So it’s odd that Apple isn’t cracking down on unlicensed re-sellers in China. But this brings up a really interesting point about Apple’s China strategy.

Apple has 5 stores in China. That’s it. And they’re all in Beijing and Shanghai. Last quarter, Chinese bought 1.07 million iPads. Nearly were bought through unauthorized channels. For comparisons sake, Bloomberg reports that Lenovo has 10,000 outlets in China.

It might seem that Apple should get control of what’s going on in China. But, on the other hand, if the demand and products are there, Apple doesn’t have to add to its expenses to make sales in China.

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