If copying is the highest form of flattery, businesses in China truly loves American brands and American advertising.

Sometimes the copying is funny, like this Chinese take on KFC:

Chinese Copy KFC Colonel Sanders

Sometimes it is unsettling, like the thousands of boxes of fake Tide detergent seized by customs officials in Seattle in September of 2010:

Counterfeit product seized in Seattle

And sometimes, the counterfeiting fraud is so astounding as to leave you speechless. Yahoo is reporting that entire Apple stores, complete with distinctive winding staircases, fake products, and employees in uniform are popping up around China. See the pictures of the fake Apple stores in Kunming at the BirdAbroad Web site.

Surely, stores so prominent as these have to have the blessing of local Chinese government officials. Perhaps those officials and their superiors should take note: “Made in China” does not have positive brand connotations. The negatives attached to “Made in China” ultimately will limit the economic success of Chinese products and brands in the West. Activities such as these definitely don’t help fix the problem.

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