Apple has has found unusual success in the China market for a foreign company. A report in the New York Times attributes it partly to the lack of copycats, saying that, “with products that are not so easy to counterfeit, Chinese consumers are willing to pay a premium” (even if the Apple Stores themselves can be counterfeited):
Apple says its Chinese outlets — two in Beijing and two in Shanghai — are now the four most heavily trafficked Apple stores in the world. They also generate the most revenue, outselling even the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan, which is open around the clock. (Apple plans to open another store in Grand Central Terminal.)
Analysts say few global brands have achieved such a feat in China.
“Apple has done what Google and Facebook cannot do: become No. 1 in China,” said John Quelch, former senior associate dean of Harvard Business School and now head of the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. “Scarcity sells, and this is the same strategy Apple has used in the U.S.”
Apple’s push into China may be important for other reasons: it shows the depth of this country’s fast-growing upper middle class.