“Fake” Ikea Store

So hot on the heels of the fake Apple Store story comes the “fake” IKEA story, coincidentally also in the western city of Kunming. Well, not really. Some people disagree, but I think there’s a difference between “copycat” and fake. Fakes are basically trying to fool consumers in to thinking they are genuine and using the exact same logo / brand name of a well known brand. Copycats or what marketing people sometimes call “me too” products do not use the same name, although they may use something similar and they may take on similar appearance of the original brand, but there’s no mistaking it for the original brand.

This store obviously is taking a lot of the characteristics of the Swedish global giant, but importantly, it isn’t calling itself Ikea. What it has done is called itself “Eleventh Furniture” which in Chinese does sound similar (Shi Yi Jia) to the Chinese name of Ikea (Yi Jia).

No, I’m not saying this is perfectly okay, but it’s not quite the same as impersonating the real deal.

For once, I was surprised that the readers comments from The Daily Mail were fairly blasé about this article: “I think they also have supermarkets, don’t tell me the Chinese steal the idea from Tesco too” rather than the usual outrage at “those cheeky Chinese”. Or maybe they just don’t sympathise with the Swedish company and its unrelenting quest for world domination in the furniture business. They’re basically the furniture version of Apple!

WoAi predicts the business won’t be a roaring success, unless they introduce meatballs and cheap hot dogs. That’s all I go to Ikea for at least!

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18 Responses to “Fake” Ikea Store

  1. IC says:

    HTC and Apple are suing each other for copy right violation. Is HTC copy cat or apple? Just heard on NPR last night, China has become most innovated country in the world. Copying with modification is most common type of innovation (or stand on the shoulder of giants) including James Watt.

    Enjoy sofa!

  2. Rich says:

    @IC – hahahaha that’s the funniest comment I’ve read in a long time. I’m wondering where u copied it from.

  3. Stimpy says:

    Really? That’s what you think? That is is okay? I would say that Ikea have a MASSIVE IP claim on this, and I would expect their lawyers to be looking at this right now.

    This is China, though, so I expect nothing to happen regarding it though.

  4. CP says:

    @IC: Yes, China has produced some amazing innovations by copying and modifying other products, including:

    - High speed train systems that operate without the need for signals
    - Kinetic glass facades on Shanghai skyscrapers (providing temporary natural ventilation for tenants)
    - Simultaneously multidirectional escalators
    - Built-in load testing for overweight vehicles on expressway structures e.g. bridges

    The benefits in terms of increased business for certain sectors are amazing: for example hospitals have never been so busy and glazing firms are reporting huge profits

  5. WoAi says:

    @IC – The most innovated country in the world? What does that even mean? How is that measured? Copying with modification? You mean like taking the Apple logo and reversing it?

    @Rich – That’s what we’re here for, to entertain and amuse.

    @Stimpy – I think I say in the post I am NOT saying it’s ok.

    @Chas – To be fair, the escalator wasn’t going in both directions simultaneously, just in quick succession!

    As for the train, yes, I fine example of home grown innovation as this excellent article demonstrates:

    A backup layer of protection also failed on the night of July 23. After the dispatcher erred and signaling equipment failed, an automatic safety system specially designed for China’s high-speed trains – and hailed by the rail ministry as homegrown, intellectual property – failed as well.

    The ministry proudly rolled out the system in 2007, calling it a rear-end collision prevention system that would always keep two, high-speed trains at least five minutes apart.

    5 minutes apart! In the end of course, the two trains were less than zero seconds apart!

  6. Stimpy says:

    I think you are saying that it is kind of okay. To me, the difference between ‘fake’ and ‘copying’ to this degree are the same. Both brands are being stolen, regardless of whether they didn’t call the shop IKEA or not.

  7. WoAi says:

    @Stimpy – Yes, absolutely, it’s a question of degree. But where do you draw the line? I think it’s hard to say. Prada now do their own version of Rayban’s Aviator glasses for example. Is that stealing or just “inspired by”?

    Have you ever been to a UK supermarket and seen their own label version of some well known brands? For me there’s no question that is also blatantly stealing.

    Here’s an example:


  8. Rich says:

    Another enlightening reply from our man IC. Little did I know that when I was eagerly copying my mate’s essays in school that I was in fact being “innovated” lol.

  9. IC says:


    Tell you a secret. Every words of mine at sofa are copied without any innovation. If you find true creativity in my piece, you are my BELE (who can say IC got talent).

  10. IC says:


    According to Louisa Lim, Foreign Correspondent, Beijing, your British compatriot, innovation is measured on patents filed. China is number 1, followed by USA, Japan, Taiwan, ect. My order might be wrong for 3ird and 4th countries.

    HTC is a Taiwan company. Its innovation is really incredible. It sure gets attention of Economist.

    BTW, louisa Lim looks Irish to me.

  11. Bittermelon says:

    If you got 1.4 billion people, you are bound to be number 1 in a lot of things.

  12. Rich says:

    Given the amount of copyright infringement that goes on in China I think it’s a bit cheeky to claim innovation based on the very system that they obviously have very little regard for.

  13. Rich says:

    Can someone please translate IC’s comment for me?

  14. wisemanofasia says:

    @IC – erm….if you are claiming Taiwanese innovations as your own then as a Brit I am also claiming American, Australian, Indian and oh yes Hong Kong innovation as my own!

    Louise Lim..British compatriot? Her name sounds suspiciously Chinese to me, I doubt people are impressed when they see her face speaking Mandarin…..

  15. CP says:

    @wiseman: Louisa Lim was the BBC correspondent here a while back, so must have a reasonably British accent. Although I can hardly understand their current China correspondent. I was also going to step in with your Taiwan comment…. when the map was pink etc. etc…

  16. wisemanofasia says:

    IC – I didn’t look at your little profile link! She doesn’t look as I expected….Interesting last name she has.

    @CP – as far as I am concerned all BBC reporters are useless and no nothing about the places they are reporting on….

  17. WoAi says:

    @IC – Number of patents filed is to me a ridiculous way to measure innovation. It’s more a measure of how Chinese try to patent everything while some other nations are less aggressive on that front. Had it ever occurred to you that the Chinese patent more because they are more aware that if they don’t some other Chinese company is going to steal the idea? It has nothing to do with how innovative they are.

    You might want to read this article from The Economist which talks about companies that simply register as many patents as they can and then make money filing suits against other companies.

  18. IC says:

    I am just a messenger. But all those attacks reflect deep insecurity, which is jumping to conclusion or biased opinion without checking fact including The reporter’s background, Taiwan rank as its onwn (I never lumped it with China). These idotic reaction relfected deep rooted bias or hatred. When people have strong opnion, who care about fact? Check your fact first before you say some thing. Otherwise you only make youself looks like a moron.

    HTC and Apple have lawsuit against each other. I only use it as example for so call intellectual right violation which serves only as reference for nature of such issue. Idiots obviously lack basic intelletual compacity to understand it. Low IQ ape only can link HTC as `Chinese company’ which totally miss the target. Bottomline is Apple violate intellectual property of HTC big time.

    Arguing with idiots only waste time. Just like to argue with religious zealots. BTW, most low IQ types are religious types which mean their mind do not follow scientific facts.

    I do not come here to check comments and blog very often. You might not hear from me very often. But hatred, or self-hatred are quite obvious.

    By living in West, I know how western mind work. People in deep shit trailer park or white ghetto are best at trashing other people. Even Ann Coulter noticed that. What low class proles have? Nothing, except bad mouth or bad breath.


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