Apple stops selling iPhone 4S in China, scalpers refuse full commission of migrant workers waited in line overnight

| January 15th, 2012

From Sina:


On January 13, Apple releases iPhone 4S for sale in China. As soon as the news broke out, scalpers restlessly began their preparation of this big event.  According to media reports, one week before the iPhone 4S official release date, there were already people recruiting with iPhone 4S marketing flyers at several job markets in Daxing, Changping and Fengtai etc. cities, the goal was to hire people to wait in line in front the Apple stores for the big panic buy on the release date.

At the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing, It is reported that hired buyers need to show up in front of the Apple stores at 6 pm the day before and wait all the way until 8 am next morning.  After successfully purchased an iPhone 4S, these hired buyers can earn about 200 RMB in commission.  The organizers even distributed uniformed hats or gloves to these hired buyers waiting in line in order to keep track of the operation.


Around 6 pm, many migrant workers hired by scalpers showed up in front of the store and started to wait in the line. But, somehow conflict broke out between the rival gangs of scalpers.  In order to avoid the situation to escalate, just before the store opens in the morning, the Beijing Apple Sanlitun store announced that they would no longer be selling iPhone 4S.

This announcement angered thousands of people who had waited in line overnight, especially those scalpers who expected to turn a large profit form reselling iPhone 4S.  One scalper, wearing yellow, even bought bags of eggs and began throwing at the store.


Many scalpers and customers stayed outside, reluctant to leave, hoping the Sanlitun Apple Store would open.  Some scalpers gathered people in front of the door to shout “Open”, however the Apple Store was never opened.

Around 8:30 am, dozens of police came outside of Sanlitun store to maintain orders and to disperse the crowd.  Around 9 am, crowd gathered outside of the store was gradually dispersed, but there were still some scalpers waiting not far away.

No iPhone 4S, customers were not happy, of course the scalpers were even angrier, therefore it triggered to the innocent migrant workers.

Once the Apple store announced they would stop selling iPhone 4S, those migrant workers waiting overnight surrounded the scalpers and asking for promised commission.  The scalper looked displeased and said to talk about it.

A migrant worker waited in line told the reporter, he is in a group of 42 people, started waiting in line since 9 pm last night.  The negotiated price was 200 RMB, but later became 150.

“42 people, at most total 3000 yuan, or each person 80 yuan at the most.”  A scalper wearing black leather jacket told the migrant worker representative.

“At least 170 a person.” The migrant worker representative persisted.

“I only bought 4000, if you don’t want it, call the cops.” The scalper said.

42 migrant workers had no other choice but finally accepted the 4000 yuan from the scalper.  After a long cold winter night, each migrant worker got less than 100 yuan of commission. Put it all together, not even enough to buy an iPhone 4S.

Around 12:10 pm, Apple China made an official announcement to stop selling iPhone in all Beijing and Shanghai retail stores.

“Demand for iPhone 4S exceeded our expectations, currently, it had been sold out in all Apple retail stores in China.  Due to large crowd gathered at Sanlitun store, and to ensure our customers and employees’ safety, we are sorry that the Sanlitun store could no longer operate business.  iPhone will temporally not be sold in Beijing and Shanghai retail stores.  Customers can still order it through the Apple Online Store, or at China Unicorn and other authorized resellers.”


19 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Alex Winters says:

    What an embarrassment. Chinese people are about the most uncivilized people on this planet.

    • wow says:

      *mainland chinese people are the most incivilised people on the planet.

    • Sarah says:

      Really? It seems like you are more of an embarrassment trying to judge people without knowing anything about their society.
      Yes, it is true that these people did not turn back peacefully and go. But, how would you feel standing in the cold all night waiting for something you have wanted for so long only to have it announced it is gone?
      Also, do you know how much money a regular worker receives in China? Without having any idea or regard for their lives, I don’t think you have the right to even say that they are the most uncivilized people. Furthermore, you cannot apply this term to every Chinese person because they are all different.

      • nulle says:

        if migrant workers lined up like they should without pushing and shoving, the Apple Store would happily open…unfortunately from the photos, it become a mob due to the iphone scalpers. these are uneducated migrant workers manipulated by the scalpers to stand there all ight.

        Keep in mind, Apple stores have to consider employee safety and the store itself. How would you like a mob stampede you/your family over and strip your home/business bare?

        regular/migrant worker don’t receive much, so! Complaint against the CCP, go demonstrate in the streets, stop “ducking inside the turtle shell”

        • voiceofhome says:

          All regular/migrant workers should protest or the CCP should ban Apple stuffs in China.

          Buy the Korean phone it is better and cheaper.

          Nulle is a smelly western pussy, it’s a man’s world, dog eat dog world.

          • nulle says:

            @voiceofhome(aka voiceofhomer, moron, uncivilized redneck.)
            better to able think critically than be brainwashed and lacking free thought.

            banning apple stuffs in china would result in high unemployment and more riots and possibly revolution against the CCP. I would welcome that…

            let me see the CCP party leaders eat organic and clean food supply, smoke and drink imported liquors, breath filtered air

            while the CCP comrades choke on polluted air, heavy metal laced vegetables, poisonous daily and fake food.

          • Lu Xun says:

            Why ban Apple? If Apple sucks, why not just buy a Korean phone?

            Korea is a foreign country, of course. You are not patriotic? Buy a crappy Chinese phone. Or do Chinese think Korea, like every country, is a part of China? In that case, why not say Westerners are Chinese?

            Who cares what phone you buy. It’s your choice. So don’t ban a phone.

    • 007 says:

      Obviously, you’ve never been to a black Friday sale in L.A.!

    • voiceofhome says:

      Go to a Nike sale in the USA and watch the blacks go wild, that’s if you want to know what uncivilized people really looks like.

      You will sooooooooooooon be embarrassed to be a human.

      • nulle says:

        you aware you are one uneducated and ignorant prick?

        Then explain defecation (both varieties) done indoors(shopping centres, restaurant rooms) AND outdoors (parks, busy streets) by mainland chinese in the middle kingdom and the SARs by adult males and females and their children?

        • voiceofhome says:

          May be you are used to seeing blacks in the streets screwing white sluts and shooting their loads all over the place, you cannot walk anywhere without stepping on their shit.

          And talking about shit, what about the subways there in the states, smells like shit all over the place in the undergrounds to me.

          You must be edumacated in the USA? You are so smart like Obamakong.

          • nulle says:

            your previous statment just proved me correct. you are one uneducated, ignorant, and RACIST.

            by using profanities, using general stereotypes, and can not spell correctly.

            i wonder whether you ever step foot outside of the hole you lived in and absorbing the spoonfed propaganda/brainwashing of the CCP. (Then again, you probably getting 50 mao for responding)…why don’t I gave you 100 kuai to go back where you came from?

    • Frankfurter Bub says:

      Muhahaha. Sure. U know all 1.4 billion Chinese.
      STFU. You, sir, are a racist. And that’s a fact.

  2. Mr B says:

    Hang on, where do the nongmingong get the cash to pay for these iphones??

  3. white dude says:

    Mainlanders alway talk about how American & Japanese are so evil
    and they should boycott their stuff
    but when it comes to consumer products
    it is whole different story

  4. w4m hobart says:

    If you are lonely and looking for a group of girls you have to visit our platform w4m hobart and chat with us for free

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