It would seem unusual to run into a life-size Steve Jobs figure in an Apple store in Xi’an, China. Even more unusual since there are no official Apple retail stores in Xi’an.
But, here is a tongue-in-cheek story about the encounter…
Six years after an American blogger living in China in Yunnan province’s capital city of Kunming identified and wrote about the questionable validity of an Apple Store there- and Bloomberg and Reuters picking up on that story and reporting on the alleged Chinese computer and electronics store fakery – the truth about whether that store, and others across China and the world, are real Apple retail outlets has finally come to light.
“These are real Apple stores,” explained Xi’an store manager Fragile Wilson. “I mean, look at the desks, look at the photos on the wall, look at the big apple in the window – do they look fake to you? No, they’re real. You can actually touch them, so they’re real. You can’t NOT touch real.”
Wilson, whose real Chinese name is 没有不同 and who chose his English name from the warning text written on the delivery boxes coming into his store, explained his store sells real Apple products by real Apple employees.
“I don’t know what else to tell you guys. These are real employees working in this real store for a real wage selling real computers bought by real customers using real money. It’s as simple as that. I mean, really.
“I mean, there’s even a real Steve Jobs here in the store who greets customers as they come in and makes sure everyone has a good time. He keeps an eye on things during the day, locks up after everyone goes home in the evening, and watches over the store overnight. I’ve never had a complaint from HIM that this store is fake. And he’s the top guy.”
When it was explained Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. had died in October of 2011 from pancreatic cancer, Wilson replied that his store had nothing to do with that.
“I wasn’t aware of that,” said Wilson. “My store opened in November of that year and this Steve Jobs here in the store has been with us since then. I don’t discriminate on people whether they have a pancreas or not. All I know is he is doing a great job to bring customers into the store – people even say ‘Hello’ to him and have photos taken. He has real hair, too, and smells like lavender. Steve Jobs smells like lavender.”
Apple Inc. media coordinators in Cupertino, California, released a statement saying there are only four official retail outlets operating in China at this time; two in Beijing and two in Shanghai.
“Ya, that’s true. I’ve been to a couple of those stores and took a TON of photos. For personal use only, of course. They’re nice stores but look no different from my store. They don’t even have a real Steve Jobs on site.”
Wilson provided a tour of his store and explained even though the computer retail business was doing fairly well, he still sold other items to augment his income.
“We sell computers and iPhones here. we sell watches and other electronics over there, and we have a fruit stand out back with oranges, pomegranates, and, yes, even apples,” said Wilson with a smile. “If you have the time and need a watch, I have a great Rolecks wristwatch at a great price you can look at.”