Wired editor Chris Anderson made the point in Free that the counterfeiting problem blanketing China like so many layers of egg noodle is actually a good thing. Knock offs increase brand awareness and the cognitive dissonance that makes young women buy the counterfeit Lois Vuitton simultaneously has them craving the real bag.
The 27-year-old blogger BirdAbroad uncovered fakery in Kunming (which, ironically, means “fake city”) China when she walked into a straight-up fake Apple store. That sleuthing journalism led to investigations and the Kunming store getting shut down.
China’s not the only place, though, where iFaux stores are popping up. Eastern Europe’s Georgia has a string of iPhone + stores – unauthorized retailers making the odd naming choice to combine an Apple brand with a Google brand (+). Eurasianet’s Molly Corso reports that iPhone+ tried to become an authorized authorized dealer by applying directly to Apple, but Apple didn’t respond. So Giorgi Tsiklauri of iPhone+ decided to start some up anyway, becoming part of the flood of Georgian businesses counterfeiting others’ intellectual property.
Read more about Georgia’s peachy knock-off industry from Molly Corso.
Greg Spielberg | August 5 2011