Scalpers lay seige to Apple’s iPad mini launch in Beijing

“The release of Apple Inc.’s iPad Mini on Friday at its flagship store in Beijing was missing the massive and unruly crowds reminiscent of some the company’s previous product launches in China, but scalpers were still out in force despite rules making it tougher for them to buy most of the stock,” Wayne Ma and Josh Chin report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Apple is requiring Chinese customers to participate in an online lottery one day in advance to buy the wifi-version of the iPad Mini at its seven retail stores in China,” Ma and Chin report. “Those selected, however, are limited to two iPad Minis each and must bring photo identification. The Cupertino, Calif. company instituted the iReserve system in China after a near-riot occurred during the release of the iPhone 4S in January, leading police to seal off part of the flagship store in Beijing’s high-end Sanlitun Village mall. The state-run Xinhua news agency later blamed the chaos on a clashes between rival groups of scalpers vying to buy up as much of the stores limited supplies of the device as possible.”

Ma and Chin report, “On Friday morning, Apple’s Sanlitun store opened to no crowds, but a large group of scalpers was standing a hop and skip from the store entrance collecting iPad Minis from Chinese customers in exchange for cash. Behind them, on a nearby bench, sat tall stacks of the devices. Li Yongqiang, 18, said he wasn’t picked in the lottery to purchase the iPad Mini but still arrived at 8:30 a.m. to observe the atmosphere. Mr. Li said scalpers met with a crowd of about a hundred outside the Apple store to discuss the process of purchasing the iPad Mini. The crowd appeared to be predominantly made up of customers there to purchase the product on behalf of scalpers, he added. It’s not clear how the scalpers were able to get so many of their people selected for the lottery.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Wi-Fi-only versions of iPad mini launched today in China. Reservation requests are accepted daily from 9am to 5pm and began on Thursday, December 6th. In China, Apple Retail Stores have a reservation system to avoid issues between regular customers who line up for new products and scalpers.

Related article:
Apple: iPad mini, 4th gen. iPad arrive in China on Dec. 7th; iPhone 5 on Dec. 14th – November 30, 2012


  1. Scalpers are buying the mini at a premium to the list price. They are then turning around and reselling them at a profit. Such is the buying power of China’s middle class.

    Anyone that denigrates China’s emerging (I say emerging because it hasn’t got anywhere near full potential) has a political agenda that is not consistent with realty.

    By the end of this decade China will have the world’s largest and most important economy. That will drive consumerism and personal wealth in China, making that market even more important to the world’s exporters.

    Any country that wishes to benefit from this shift will have to address the disparity in corporate tax rates of their country, to that of China. China taxes consumption, not production, thus making production in China far less expensive than in the developed western world.

    Obama’s call for higher tax rates is exactly the wrong thing to do. The US, in order to compete with Chinese manufacturing, must adopt China’s taxation model. The issue isn’t wages, its taxes.

    1. that is not consistent with realty

      n 1: property consisting of houses and land [syn: real
      property, real estate, realty, immovable]

      It’s an interesting point about differing tax philosophies.

      But I think YOU need to get consistent with reality. China is NOT a capitalist country and does NOT follow capitalist philosophy unless it’s convenient. It is a totalitarian regime where those taxes don’t go toward representing or bettering its people so much as dedicating those taxes toward Chinese military expansion and aggression. Or hadn’t you bothered to notice? China wants lots and lots more realty.

    2. Try to get a consumption VAT of 15% on all purchased good across the country. GO ahead… try.

      The problem is that despite its name of the country, it’s very much NOT “united” by anything other than the right to agree NOT to be united on anything.

      If the federal government tried to institute a federal consumption sales tax, each state will rally against it, claiming their constitutional freedom has been violated.

        1. This is one of those words where the spelling rule actually works: ‘I before E, except after C, or when sounded as ‘ay’ as in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh’.

          Just don’t use the rule for exception words, as in ‘their’. 😯 Yes world: English is a cross-language conglomerated mess. We’re stuck with it.

            1. I’ve studied Japanese. I know, I know. At least the Japanese have Kanji (alphabet letters) to represent sounds. Two different sets of Kanji! What a nightmare. Try typing that stuff on a computer keyboard!

            2. You mean Hiragana and Katakana right. Kanji is similar to Chinese characters. Typing Japanese is easy on a keyboard. Macs make it relatively easy to type Chinese languages using the track pad.

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