Asia

Chinese Customs Confiscates Hundreds of Smuggled iPhone 7s on Release Day

Several Chinese smugglers have already been caught trying to smuggle the new iPhone 7 from Hong Kong to China on the first day that the Apple’s latest smartphones were available in the country.

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Online pre-orders for Apple’s new line of smartphone offerings immediately sold out in China and Hong Kong after it went on sale on September 9th. Sales are now exclusively limited to pre-orders after the initial batch has been sold out.

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With a low supply, scalpers have jumped on the opportunity and stocked up on the pre-order units in hopes of making a killing in profits. Customs officials, however, were prepared for them on day one.

Over 60 smugglers have already been apprehended trying to secretly bring the popular Apple handset across the border on Friday, People’s Daily reported (via Shanghaiist.)

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Despite the Chinese public’s previously announced hate over iPhones in the recent months, the mobile phone brand still enjoys a significant following with many Apple fans in the mainland willing to pay a higher price than the usual in Hong Kong.

Authorities have imposed a one-iPhone-per-person limit to control potential smuggling on those crossing the border. For those who are willing to pay an extra 15% tax, they can bring an extra unit.

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One person was caught carrying five iPhone 7s on his body, while a group of 10 people were later found to be hiding 44 iPhone 7s strapped around their waist and legs.

Shenzhen custom officers estimated that the 400 confiscated iPhones on the first day alone amounted to a value of 3 million yuan, or around $450,000. The phones will be sold via public auction and its proceeds will be given to the government’s treasury.

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