Following an investigation, more local Chinese retailers have been found to be selling goods under Apple's banner without permission to do so, a new report says.
Reuters reports that 22 more unauthorized Apple retailers have been identified by Chinese authorities in Kunming, a city in the country's southwest region. As a result, those retailers have been forced to discontinue the use of any Apple branding in their stores, mimicking a similar effort that began earlier this week in Beijing.
The crackdown comes less than a month after a high-profile blog post on the fake shops featuring a look-alike shop in Kunming, which led to the closure of two stores in the area. A Reuters story days later noted that the same investigation that led to the closures also found that all five stores in the area were selling Apple-made hardware that had been purchased from third-party authorized resellers.
A report by China Daily earlier this week said officials in Beijing, which is northeast of Kunming, have taken steps to keep lookalike Apple retail stores in the region from fooling passersby, forcing them to cover up any Apple branding from the front of their stores.
While Apple so far has refrained from commenting on the group of shops, Reuters notes that the investigation that led to the identification of the 22 unauthorized shops stemmed from Apple China targeting the stores for unfair competition and trademark violation.
A trademark infringement lawsuit Apple filed in the U.S. two weeks ago would suggest the company's been busy behind the scenes on a similar effort stateside. That suit, filed in New York, takes aim at three companies and some 52 other individuals. One of those is Apple Story Inc., believed to be the match of a similarly named Apple retail look-alike in Flushing, N.Y.