Chinese authorities are beginning to take action against unauthorized Apple stores in the country, with rogue traders in Beijing being told to cover up the Cupertino company’s logo.
Following recent news about fake Apple stores opening up in China, it seems that the country’s authorities are beginning to make moves, albeit slow ones, toward resolving the issue.
A China Daily report says that sellers in Zhongguancun, an area in north-western Beijing known by some as China’s Silicon Valley, have been ordered to cover the Apple logo.
Use of brand names connected with the computer giant, such as ‘Apple authorized reseller’ or ‘Apple direct retailer,’ has also been banned.
The order comes in the wake of consumer anger, as many were concerned they may have been sold fake goods. Some store employees even thought they were working for legitimate Apple retail stores.
However, China Daily called the response to the bogus stores by the authorities “sluggish.” It said that some store owners were simply covering the logos with sheets of paper, while inside the stores it seemed to be business as usual, with employees continuing to wear T-shirts emblazoned with the Apple logo.
The owner of one Zhongguancun store selling Apple products, Mr. Qiao, told China Daily, “We have received frequent inspections from the city’s industry and commerce bureau in recent days.” Commenting on stores covering logos, he added, “If you come back a few days later, everything will be back as it was.” Judging by that comment, the authorities have their work cut out if they’re going to eradicate the illegal sellers anytime soon.
Apple lawyers appear to be taking action to deal with alleged rogue traders in the US with the recent filing of a number of trademark infringement lawsuits.
When the retail side of a single company generates the kind of revenue as Apple’s outlets do, it’s little wonder rogue retailers want to jump on the bandwagon. Apple’s more than 300 worldwide retail stores generated a cool $3.5 billion in revenue and $828 million in profit during the recent second calendar quarter, with more than 73 million visits made by consumers in that time.