In the past when new Apple products have been released in mainland China, near-riots have taken place at Apple Stores when crowds of legitimate customers and groups of scalpers have descended upon the stores to grab the limited stock of new product. Apple instituted a system called iReserve to quell the crowds and make sure that legitimate purchasers can get their new goodies — but a Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report post shows that scalpers are still getting the bulk of newly released products.
A Wall Street Journal reporter saw a herd of scalpers (see picture at right) standing by collecting iPad minis — which went on sale today in the mainland — from Chinese customers in exchange for cold, hard cash. The reporter was trying to film the scene, and was then surrounded by angry scalpers who were upset with the “invasion of their privacy.” The reporter responded that they were doing business in a public place, after which point they began to “kick, swat and push him as Apple and mall security stood by.”
Despite the action at the Sanlitun Village mall in Beijing, many iPad fans were able to get their hands on the new device. Apple currently has a 71.4 percent market share in China, with Samsung — makers of the rival Galaxy Note — at a distant 3.5 percent share.