More Chinese Knockoff Stores Uncovered: Fake Ikea Just As Frustrating As Real Ikea

from the what's-the-faux-swedish-word-for-flattery? dept

What, you thought that folks in China would just copy an Apple Store? Since that story got so much press, now reporters are uncovering other copycat stores, including a near replica of assemble-your-own furniture giant Ikea. While the knockoff doesn't directly use the name Ikea, it comes pretty close on a variety of details. The store is called 11 Furniture, and apparently, the Chinese name sounds very similar to Ikea's Chinese name. And, yes, it also has the same warehouse like setup and the little pencils to mark down what you want. It even has a cafeteria like Ikea, though the Reuters report doesn't note whether or not they stock Swedish meatballs as well...

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  1. icon
    fb39ca4 (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 7:55pm

    The chinese could reach greatness if they only spent time making something original rather than knocking off something else.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 7:56pm

    In Other News ...

    ... Chinese police have uncovered a whole fake Kunming city. Even the residents were unaware they were not living in the real Kunming, that all the businesses they were working in were not real Kunming businesses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Just John (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 9:06pm

    This is such a funny discussion, given I live over here.

    I will admit, some Chinese companies are indeed shameless about blatantly copying other peoples products.

    Here are a couple examples that I have recently seen that are very obvious:
    1. One time, someone brought in his new tablet. It was a Windows 7 tablet. The amazing part was, with the exception of the slots on the back to provide needed cooling to the CPU, it looked EXACTLY like an iPhone. Only, well, much bigger.
    2. I recently bought what is called an MP5 player for my family back home. An MP5 player is a device that can play the usual games, play movies, and view pictures. The added feature is that it can also play the NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy color, etc. video games. This is not the part that showed blatant copying though. It looked exactly like a PSP, except blue. It was even sold to me in a PSP box (Or at least what Looked like a real PSP box, with the instruction manual calling it a PSP).

    Now, although we realize we do see copying, I want others to keep in mind normal tech trends.

    1. Companies become OEM manufacturers of products for other companies (Foxconn's making of the i devices for Apple).
    2. The companies become very familiar with those technologies, including their detailed systems, spec designs, etc.
    3. Given they are already familiar with the designs, they begin to produce what they are familiar with (Didn't we also see this during the rise of Japan?).
    4. They start producing those things they are most familiar with.
    5. As their learning curve evens out, and they have become familiar with how to operate a normal business based on these "copies", they start to create their own unique goods (Don't believe me, ask Huawei).
    6. Slowly, they start creating less of these knock offs, and start offering their own unique items.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that copying is wrong. However, I do want to point out that jumping to harsh criticisms may be the wrong way to go about it. As they get a better grip on the technologies they are creating, they will start in the "innovative" side (In fact, I would argue that some Chinese have already started this). Don't label it as a "China" thing, because we have seen it over and over again (First Japan, then Taiwan, and now that our outsourcing has moved to China, in China).

    Just please remember to keep it in perspective. First, they were babies at manufacturing, but they are now grown up. Then they were babies at producing, now they are grown up. Now they are, while I would not say babies, still growing up in the innovation areas. Trust me, you will see more unique innovations coming out of China, and less "knockoffs", going forward. Then another country can take it's place and copy all of our wonderful, innovative ideas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 9:17pm


    Not much detail in the linked story, but it seems that this fake Ikea is filling a void for potential Ikea customers who cannot or don't want to travel a long distance to the genuine store nor pay to have Ikea stuff shipped to them.

    So. Is Ikea really losing anything to the fake Ikea? Potential Ikea customers are not being served by Ikea. Fake Ikea fills the need. Instead of shutting them down, Ikea should just move in - it's all done for them already!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Dan, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 9:35pm

    SoCal had the same thing 20 years ago

    Before IKEA entered the US, there was an exact knockoff in Southern California called STOR. Same layout, same product-naming style. I don't think the blue & yellow colour scheme was used, though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    iChina, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:13pm

    Response to: fb39ca4 on Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 7:55pm

    They expended all their ingenuity when they built the Great Wall.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:45pm

    For me, the Chinese name of these two store doesn't even remotely sound the same.

    Talking about other aspects. I'd agree that for most things they did a good job in copying what Ikea does, but what's wrong about copying the model of a successful company down to the details as long as they made themselves distingishable as a different company? (As others have notes, that's even somewhere that Ikea's business haven't step in at least for the meanwhile)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:00am

    Re: For me, the Chinese name of these two store doesn't even remotely sound the same.

    Given thereís more than one Chinese language, Iím not surprised.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 3:07am

    Re: In Other News ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 3:31am


    In modern history you forgot to mention the US, that copied everything Europe did, not only that they patented everything at home so to fend off the Europeans.

    Also in the 90's the U.K. labour copied even speeches from American politics, I think I saw that on the BBC show "The Century Of The Self" or the "The Power Of Nightmares".

    Now American politicians are loosing money aren't they, since you can patent anything in America today and copyright is just so inclusive all those ideas and methods should be patented so we could see one politician being sued by other to stop people from being elected because they broke the law :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 4:08am


    There's nothing wrong about copying per se. There's nothing wrong with making a Windows 7 tablet that looks like an oversized iPhone or a music-video-game-whatever player that looks like a PSP. Someone may well prefer that combination of design choices. The wrong thing about these outfits is when they defraud their customers by using someone else's name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Nicedoggy, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re:

    BBC - The Century Of The Self - Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

    This episode explains how politicians turned to the same techniques used by business in order to read and manipulate the inner desires of the masses. Both New Labor with Tony Blair and the Democrats led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group which had been invented by psychoanalysts in order to regain power. Both set out to mold their policies to manipulate people's innermost desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learned to do with products.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Al Bert, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 7:17am

    The US copies freely

    How many street names and town names in the US were copies of European names? Athens Greece? Meet Athens GA. GA has a Rome too. Then there is NEW York and NEW Jersey both named that way because there already were a York and Jersey and heck reusing the names might fool people into thinking these NEW places were somehow like the established ones.

    Whenever we colonize the moon or Mars, you can bet there will be a "town" named NEW something. NEW Beijing at this rate. Or NEW New Delhi which is not new now but might be again on Mars. Or whatever.

    I need a New Coke.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 8:03am


    The chinese names are incredibly the same:

    Shi Yi Jia Ju versus Yi Jia Jia Ju - and actually the knock off has an easier to write name in chinese 十一家具 versus 宜家家具. In conversational Mandarin, especially in regional dialect, the name is very close one to the other.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    A Dan (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re:

    The wrong thing about these outfits is when they defraud their customers by using someone else's name.

    And even that's only a big deal if the customers actually think they're buying the real thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    crade (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 8:24am


    you keep telling yourself that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    crade (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    I heard they also made *another* store that sells ground beef patties in buns and deep fried potatoes strips and they have tables and booths, and you can drive through, and you can get your own ketchup and the employees where silly uniforms and they are supposed to get you your food quickly. Will the unethical stealing never cease?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    Just John (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The ironic part is when they are buying from the right company, and still not getting the real thing.

    Here is a story that highlights how a company who claimed to import furniture from Italy for the China market was actually manufacturing it in China. And this is expensive furniture... g-scandal.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Frank, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    Interesting insight Just John, the fact these companies already make and are familiar with the designs never really crossed my mind. That along with the fact that we did see much of the same thing from Japan years ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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