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The IKEA experience - or is it?

The IKEA experience - or is it?
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It looks like IKEA, complete with blue and yellow colour scheme. Its name sounds like IKEA in Chinese. Even bags and miniature pencils are provided.

But a far-eastern shopping experience in Kunming city in southwest China has nothing to do with the Swedish furniture giant.

Hot on the heels of the fake ‘Apple Store’ scandal, it is just the latest case of what some call ‘copycat commerce’ and others denounce as piracy.

“Just about every foreign brand that has ever come here has been faked,” said market research consultant Paul French of ‘Access Asia.’

“What we are seeing with the Apple and the IKEA stores is that they are ‘lookie-likies’, they are not actually fakes. The guy who is selling Apples out of what looks like an Apple store, they are actually Apple computers. They are not fake computers. It is a little bit different to fakes. This has been going on for a quarter of a century now.”

Kunming city is the scene of both scandals, which erupted when one of five self-branded ‘Apple Stores’ there was exposed online. Two of the unauthorised shops have since been closed. Three others are said to be still trading.