It’s pretty easy to understand most of this story. Someone in Hong Kong wanted to get a bunch of iPhones into Shenzen, China, so they decided to smuggle them across the border.
That’s illegal, but it makes sense. China charges heavy taxes on importing goods like these, and whoever ran this scheme wanted to avoid the tax.
What doesn’t make sense, however, is how they did it. The culprit cut open empty beer bottles, placing iPhones inside three at a time, and then resealed the bottles with tape. You can see the full Chinese news report below. Over 200 iPhones were being smuggled in beer bottles.
I guess the best explanation is that people often bring empty bottles into China for recycling, and the hope was that these would just get lost in the mix. But it’s definitely an unusual scheme.