We’ve already seen stores in China that were built to look like official Apple Stores, but at least those unofficial “Apple stores” were stocked with official Apple products. But this? It’s totally misleading. Not to mention confusing. The screenshots you’re looking at (there’s more after the break) were pulled from a Chinese website that promotes an online game called “Zhengtu 2” (or “Journey 2”), but unless you can read the language, you’d think they were peddling Apple gear. It’s confusing because besides the fact that they use photos of Apple products, the entire website is completely designed using Apple.com’s template, from the colors, frames and layout, down to the icon at the top-left that leads you back to the home page. (The logo is a pear with a “bite”, by the way; not an apple with a “bite”.)
While we don’t understand the text on the site, we do know that it is, in fact, a portal for the online game and that they don’t plan on selling any of the Apple products prominently displayed on the pages. Based on the screenshots, it looks like they’re simply using the device’s screens to show off screenshots and features of the game. It would have made perfect sense in some kind of twisted, misleading — not to mention illegal — way.
…until we ran into a screen that shows the screen-less iPod shuffle. Now we’re stumped. Our best guess is that the whole thing’s was either thought up by the world’s most unoriginal web designer, or approved by a boss with a really confident team of lawyers with a lot of free time on their hands. After seeing Apple’s Chinese lawyers go after a noodle company for having a logo (of a stylized red apple) that may have used Apple’s design concepts, you know they’re going to have a field day with this site’s owners.
Check out Zhengtu 2‘s Apple-looking website here.
By the way, there’s a button along the top bar that says “iRate”. After trying it out, the button takes you to some kind of rating page. It’s not a shortcut to Apple, the people who would most likely be irate about this whole thing.