If you thought that the recent headlines about Chinese businessmen copying the designs, look and style of products and retail stores are the best examples of how enterprising the Chinese can be when it comes to selling their wares, you really have not seen everything yet. Apparently not satisfied with imitating Apple's consumer electronic products and retail store, it seems that some sellers are now going hi-tech by cloning Apple's online store as passing it off as the real deal.
The next time you happen to find yourself in China and are thinking of purchasing an Apple-branded products online to avoid getting tricked into either walking into an elaborate imitation Apple store or buying a low-cost clone, you might want to take our advice and squint really hard at your web browser window. And while you are at it, be doubly sure to ascertain that it is the official online Apple store that you are really visiting.
Why, you may ask? Well, we've got news for you; apparently, some enterprising Chinese are now moving to take the whole clone Apple business up another level by leveraging the power of the Internet to create their own “official” Apple stores. Which, at first glance, might look good enough to fool an unsuspecting customer, if the screenshots of such an online store captured below is of any indication.
While most of us discerning viewers may be able to have a good laugh at how the “official Apple store” looks nothing like Apple's, we cannot help but point out that the introduction of such imitation online stores can potentially hide a more sinister purpose. At the very least, with a traditional brick-and-mortar retail store, users have the opportunity to actually physically inspect the goods before they decide to commit themselves to any purchase. This is not possible in an online store, thus there is a possibility that unscrupulous sellers may abuse this aspect of online purchasing to con people into paying the full Apple price for a low-quality knockoff that might look and feel like the real deal, but performs nothing like it.
That being said, it will be interesting to see how China is going to even attempt to crack down on such “official Apple online stores”, considering how the act of policing the Internet is never an easy task for even the most reputable law enforcement agencies.