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Tough times in the U.S.-China iPad smuggling game
ECN via Reuters ^ | 3-26-12 | Gerry Shih, Poornima Gupta and Lee Chyen Yee

Posted on 03/27/2012 11:11:14 AM PDT by bigbob

Early on the morning of March 16, Wong Tat joined a line of about 100 people waiting for the launch of the new iPad in a chilly rain outside an Apple store on the outskirts of San Francisco.

When the doors opened, he was among the first to buy his quota of two iPads -- the maximum Apple Inc allows per person. Then, sporting a bright red cap for easy identification, Wong began to direct a stream of people toting their new tablets to a silver Mercedes SUV in the parking lot.

After about two dozen of the neatly boxed iPads had been put in the trunk, the SUV sped to a nearby run-down hair salon and massage parlor. There, the haul of the tablets costing about $12,000 was transferred to red, white and blue wholesale bags, which Wong then spirited out the back door into another car.

"They are headed for China," said Amy, a 30-something hair stylist at the salon who had joined in the pre-dawn operation outside the Apple store. She would not divulge her last name.

The iPads had embarked on the first leg of a journey that would ironically return them to the country where they were assembled in the first place. They may have been stuffed into suitcases and taken by passengers on a flight to China, or possibly flown by courier to the duty-free territory of Hong Kong and smuggled in students' backpacks across the border into mainland China.

Demand for Apple products, coupled with severe constraints on local supply, has created a thriving black market. A 16-gigabyte iPad bought in San Francisco for $499 -- about $540 including tax -- can be sold for more than $1,000 in Shanghai the next day.

(Excerpt) Read more at ecnmag.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: ipad; ipadblackmarket; ipadsmuggling; smugglers
Ironic and amazing at the same time.

Good example of supply and demand at work. Guess it's a good thing that a US-based company can create a product that is so much in demand it creates a black market like this.

1 posted on 03/27/2012 11:11:24 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: bigbob

Wonder if these guys are taking credit for the sales tax boom in California? There is one, right? ...


2 posted on 03/27/2012 11:24:20 AM PDT by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existance!)
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To: bigbob
"They may have been stuffed into suitcases and taken by passengers on a flight to China, or possibly flown by courier to the duty-free territory of Hong Kong and smuggled in students' backpacks across the border into mainland China."

Or they may have ended up smelling like prison cigarettes taste.

3 posted on 03/27/2012 1:14:45 PM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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