Apple Closes Beijing Store Because of Scalpers

It's hard to feel sorry for Apple when you hear that the company was forced closed its Beijing shop because iPhone 4 scalpers were causing such a commotion. Sure, it sucks that people were going so crazy over iPhones they had to shut up shop, but hearing that the pandemonium ensued because Apple removed the two-iPhones-per-customer limit sort of changes things.

9to5 Mac reports that once Apple lifted the limit, the shop was overrun with scalpers desperate to get as many iPhone 4s as they could. There were genuine customers looking to buy just one iPhone 4 in the store too, and a few of them got into fights with the scalpers. Some of the people buying phones in bulk were seen leaving the store with boxes of 20-30 iPhone 4s; scalpers were seen trying to sell the phones to people on the street outside the store.

As a result of the chaos, Apple shut the shop and not only reinstated the limit on the number of iPhone 4s one customer can purchase, but lowered it. All of Apple's Chinese stores are now operating on a one-iPhone-4-per-customer rule. On top of that, customers purchasing the phone must show a photo ID and have their phone activated in the shop.

The news follows reports of block-long queues of Asian people outside the Apple store in New York City. The New York Times recently discovered that these people were paying $600 per iPhone 4 (again, there's a limit of two per customer in NYC) and selling them on to electronics shops in Chinatown, who in turn ship them off to China where the iPhone 4 had yet to launch.

Source: 9to5 Mac, New York Times