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Famously fake Chinese Apple store gets rebranded

The Chinese Apple Store that wasn't sanctioned by Apple has changed its name and exterior appearance following a local crackdown.

Formerly the "Apple Store," now the "Smart Store."
Formerly the "Apple Store," now the "Smart Store."

The fake, lookalike Apple store in Kunming, China, has renamed itself following a crackdown by local officials.

Chinese-language news site (Google translation) has posted news and photos of the store, which sparked international interest followinga blog postthat chronicled its resemblance to Apple's own stores. Gone is the "Apple Store" name on the very top, which has instead been changed to "Smart Store." Another report by blog MIC Gadget depicts a photo of the renamed store with the Apple logo intact, despite the name change.

Despite the exterior changes, photos hint that the inside of the store, with its familiar wooden tables and Apple-like signage, remains unchanged.

The high-profile unearthing of the shop in Kunming last month led to the closure of two stores in the area. A Reuters story days later noted that the same investigation also found five stores in the area to be selling Apple-made hardware that had been purchased from third-party authorized resellers. Local officials later added 22 more unauthorized Apple retailers to that list, followed by a forced removal Apple branding and any references of being an authorized reseller. A similar cover-up effort began earlier this month in Beijing.