China, long known for producing fake good has reached a new piracy milestone — fake Apple stores.

According to the Associated Press, an American who lives in Kunming in southern Yunnan province stumbled on three shops posing as Apple stores in the city a few days ago. She took photos and posted them on her BirdAbroad blog.

The three stores are not among the authorised resellers listed on Apple Inc.'s website. The maker of the iPhone and other hit gadgets has four company stores in China — two in Beijing and two in Shanghai — and various official resellers. Apple's Beijing office declined to comment.

The fake Apple stores highlight the slow progress the Chinese government is making in countering a culture of  piracy and widespread production of bcountrefeit goods – a major irritant in relations with trading partners.

China's Commerce Minister promised American executives earlier this year that the latest in a string of crackdowns on product piracy would deliver lasting results.

The 27-year-old blogger, wrote that the set-up of the stores was so convincing that the employees themselves seemed to believe they worked for Apple.

"It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue T-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks.

"Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some

conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely

think they work for Apple," she wrote.

"I tried to

imagine the training that they went to when they were hired, in which

they were pitched some big speech about how they were working for this

innovative, global company – when really they're just filling the

pockets of some shyster living in a prefab mansion outside the city by

standing around a fake store disinterestedly selling what may or may

not be actual Apple products that fell off the back of a truck


Apple International is reportedly investigating.

Read abirdabroad's blog here