Feeds

Most Hong Kong iPhone 5s to be smuggled into China

Analyst reveals massive grey market racket

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A whopping 70 per cent of shiny new iPhones and iPads bought in Hong Kong this year will be smuggled into China and sold on the grey market to feed the insatiable demand for all things Apple, according to analyst firm Forrester.

Beijing-based analyst Bryan Wang told The Reg that the illegal trade in the fruity tech is down to two main reasons:

“Firstly, the launch of Apple products is always one quarter later in China than Hong Kong, so consumers can only get the products from grey market and the supply is mostly from Hong Kong,” he said. ”Second, the price in Hong Kong is approximately 15-20 per cent lower than in China.”

The Reg visited Shenzhen earlier this week and found the city’s tech stores awash with Apple products.

It wasn’t possible to confirm their provenance, but many traders were taking pre-orders for iPhone 5s for delivery next week, despite a launch date for the device in China not yet being announced.

Counterfeit iPhone shop, Shenzhen, China

Counterfeit iPhone shop, Shenzen, China

The revelation that up to 70 per cent of Apple kit sold in Hong Kong will be smuggled across the border is the more surprising given that Apple has, since the last iPad launch, instituted a Reserve & Pickup system at its Hong Kong store.

Designed to foil the scalpers who pour across the border to snap up sacks full of devices to take back and sell at a profit, the system requires users to register their details with a Hong Kong ID whereupon a lottery system is used to decide who gets the chance to buy their device the following day.

However, as local site MIC Gadget reported in an exposé of the grey market this week, there are many Hong Kong locals who would like to make a bit of extra money – around HK$1,500 – HK$2,000 (£125-£170) for the iPhone 5 – by selling to a dodgy trader.

Hong Kong is something of a hub for the grey market anyway, so shipments are also flying in from Europe and the US, where they will be dispatched across the border.

It’s not just iGoods that are being bought and sold in this way to make a few entrepreneurial types rather rich, however. Here in Hong Kong there has been a clampdown of late on so-called ‘parallel traders’ buying cheaply on one side of the border and selling for a profit on the other.

More than 130 mainland Chinese were arrested this week on suspicion of violating immigration laws, The Standard reported.

The land border with China is a tempting route on which to smuggle goods given the Hong Kong MTR and Shenzhen Metro services run all the way up to the border check-point. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.