The old saying is “China makes and the world takes.” But the story of the growing appetites of the country’s consumer class was brought into sharp relief when a giant mob gathered in front of a Beijing Apple store for new iPhones turned ugly upon the announcement that sales would be halted.
Nearly 2,000 people who had camped out the night before the store was slated to sell new iPhone 4S models to the public were told in the morning that the sale would be postponed. The scene quickly turned ugly, with angry members of the crowd yelling at Apple employees and even throwing eggs. Many waiting to buy a new phone were reportedly paid by scalpers to pick up the phones and then travel to more remote areas to sell them for a marked-up price.
From The New York Times:
“The horde of more than 1,000 people who gathered outside the store in the Sanlitun district of Beijing Friday included organized teams of migrant workers, identifiable by matching armbands or hats. Some of the migrant workers said they were bused in and promised payment of 100 renminbi, or about $16, for purchasing a phone.”
Apple said the new iPhone models could still be purchased online from the company’s partner, Unicom, but that the phone would not be available at the Beijing store until further notice.