iPad 2, white iPhone 4 sparks scuffle outside Beijing Apple Store

“In China, Apple products are hot. Long lines of eager customers and swarms of lurking scalpers are typical each time Apple launches a new product,” Jo Ling Kent reports for CNN. “The release of the iPad 2 and white iPhone 4 last weekend was no exception. However, sales on Saturday hit a speed bump when foreign Apple employees and Chinese customers were caught in a scuffle outside one of Apple’s Beijing stores.”

“According to witnesses, a Chinese man thought to be a scalper — a buyer who makes multiple purchases to resell at higher prices — tried three times to cut into a long line of customers waiting to buy the newly-released white iPhone 4 in Beijing,” Kent reports. “Three Apple security guards and an Apple manager attempted to escort the individual away from the store. Two of the employees were foreigners.”

Kent reports, “The store, which is located in Beijing’s high-end Sanlitun Village shopping and dining center, was closed to the public on Saturday afternoon for repairs… ‘The Apple store in Sanlitun closed for several hours on Saturday after a group outside the store became unruly. The store team acted to protect themselves and our customers by closing the doors and preventing the group from entering. The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,’ Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu told CNN. Local police declined to comment on the situation. By Sunday, Apple resumed normal business hours.”

“Despite only having four retail stores in China, Apple dominates the tablet market in China, harnessing more than three-quarters of the market, according to analysts,” Kent reports. “When the first edition of the iPad launched in September, customers in Beijing camped out for more than 65 hours to be among the first to purchase the tablet.”

Read more in the full article here.

Ye Xin reports for The People’s Daily, “The Chaoyang police claimed that they received a report about a fight that had broken out at Sanlitun Apple Store at 3:10 p.m. on May 7. Police officers rushed to the spot and found after a preliminary investigation that the attacker was a foreigner as well as the head of the Apple Store. As for the fighting, the foreigner laid the blame on scalpers and those people who had jumped the queue.”

“After questioning the witnesses and watching the surveillance video, police officers affirmed that there were people jumping the queue at the spot. However, they said they can not affirm whether the beaten man is a scalper or not,” Xin reports. “Police officers reported recently that a settlement has been reached through mediation in the case of a foreign Apple employee who allegedly beat a customer in front of the Sanlitun Village Apple Store in Beijing as customers lined up for the release of the iPad 2. In addition, the police said the man was not injured seriously. The foreigner and the injured man came to an agreement after mediation. [Terms of the mediation were not disclosed.]”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Somebody tried to cut in line ahead of us at an Apple product launch once. Once.


  1. Apple has been in the Chinese Governments good books… they can do whatever they like.

    I mean, who doesn’t feel like beating a scalper or a queue jumper. And if s/he is both a scalper and queue jumper… thats Reasoning squared…

    1. I suspect that everyone has been impacted by line cutters – cars jumping over into merge lanes and then jumping back in, people cutting in lines at events, etc. Most of us are raised to peacefully follow the rules, so this type of behavior clashes with our upbringing. As a result we generally just glare and mumble and let the frustration build and subside, all without doing anything. Why should we let the rule-breakers take advantage of the rest of us? Rewarding them through inaction merely encourages continuation and expansion of that “take what you want” behavior.

          1. Ha… A line in China. No such thing really. More like multiple small clusters of people forming a crowd.

            I think some people over there honestly don’t get the concept of a line.

            They’ve even had “Queuing Days” in China before the Olympics… On the 11th of each month. The “11” was meant to represent two people standing in line.

            Little old ladies are the top line cutters for sure… Turn your back on one, and she’ll be in front of you in a heartbeat. It’s kinda funny, but gets annoying after a while.

  2. In Asia one can tell whether a product is hot or is by observing the queue. During the ’60s when cinema shows were popular, we had long lines at the ticket counters and the blackmarket guys would be at the head of the queue many times buying blocks of tickets to be sold at 100–200 percent of the price.

    Also I have been observing attendances during companies’ Annual General meetings. Many are there just for the food and door gifts. While the meeting was in progress, there were many who did not attend the meeting but were outside at the banquet room eyeing at the food. As soon the meeting was over, there was a frantic rush to get the food. At times tables were overturned and the food were sent flying on the floor. One particular bad habit among these “refugees” was to bring along plastic bags to pack the food and deprived others of refreshment. Also plates, forks, knives, spoon and towels went missing. Nowadays at many companies AGM security guards are employed to control such unruly behavior.

      1. I thought free would reflect your idea of a perfect socialist paradise. Why don’t you bog off to North Korea then & live out your life in perpetual state handouts.

  3. Courtesy of Carl Douglas “Kung Fu Fighting”

    Everybody was kung-fu fighting
    Those cats were fast as lightning
    In fact it was a little bit frightning
    But they fought with expert timing

    They were funky China men from funky Chinatown
    They were chopping them up and they were chopping them down
    It’s an ancient Chineese art and everybody knew their part
    From a feint into a slip, and kicking from the hip

    Everybody was kung-fu fighting
    Those cats were fast as lightning
    In fact it was a little bit frightning
    But they fought with expert timing

    There was funky Billy Chin and little Sammy Chung
    He said here comes the big boss, lets get it on
    We took a bow and made a stand, started swinging with the hand
    The sudden motion made me skip now we’re into a brand knew trip

    Everybody was kung-fu fighting
    Those cats were fast as lightning
    In fact it was a little bit frightning
    But they did it with expert timing

    (repeat)..make sure you have expert timing
    Kung-fu fighting, had to be fast as lightning

  4. Why such emphasis on Foreigner?
    Was he a “Dirty White Boy” ?
    Does he now have “Double Vision”?
    ..Because it was ‘Urgent’
    or they were playing ‘Head Games’ ?
    Well, It’s time to “Break it up”.

  5. “The Chinese mob is really unruly.” True, even though it’s a little better in Beijing now due to the Olympics. I can only imagine the scene in Shanghai.

    @Ballmer’s left nut… What’s the latest on that story in the UK? Hard to believe they really arrested the guy for singing that song.

    1. Incredible but true. It seems that a pub singer was arrested for being racist by singing “Kung Fu Fighting” within earshot of a Chinese couple in the Isle of Wight in Britain.

      I think people are far too intolerant these days & have overly attuned sensitivities. File it under mad but true. I hope he got off with a slap on the wrist. It’s no more than a misdemeanor anyway.

      Anyhow I don’t care, I’m going to sing it loudly in front of the Chinese crowd in the Beijing Apple Store & start another scuffle. LOL.

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