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iPhone 6 Selfie Spreads on Chinese Social Networks

Posted: 09/25/2014 11:36 am

smuggled iphone 6The delayed release of the iPhone 6 in China has led to opportunists in the US willing to fight each other in order to sell to Chinese buyers willing to pay exorbitant prices.

READ: Chinese Line Up Globally To Buy – And Then Sell – the iPhone 6

smuggled iphone 6Since its release seven days ago, over 2,000 iPhones 6 have been seized at Luohu border customs in Shenzhen. Nearby in Huaqiang North, a mecca for iPhone resales, the iPhone 6 is currently selling for RMB 6,800.

Meanwhile in Shanghai, 335 iPhones 6 have been seized at Pudong International Airport during the same period.

smuggled iphone 6

READ: Unreleased Hong Kong and US Versions of iPhone 6
Already on Sale in Beijing for US$4,500

Some people just don’t see what the fuss is about. China Daily reports that despite costing around $1,000, the iPhone 6 is only worth between $200 and $247 in spare parts. Furthermore, the cost of labor is between $4 and $4.50 per phone.

But that’s some people. Others will do anything to get their hands on Apple’s latest gadget, with the iPhone “selfie” spreading on Chinese social networks.

iphone 6 selfieiphone 6 selfie

With this much hype and anticipation, it isn’t hard to see why people won’t try to exploit the situation. Unfortunately an unlucky Wuhan employee was cheated by his very own boss.

The man, Xiaoliu, was promised that if he and his coworkers completed a project on time, they would all each be rewarded with “Apple 6″. As it turned out, this meant a reward of six apples.

apple six iphone 6

We assume, after giving Xiaoliu his prize, the boss said:  ”How do you like dem apples?”


Photos: Shenzhen Evening Report (2), Hong Kong Culture Exchange Net, China Daily, Weibo (2)


Shenzhen: The Cradle of the iPhone, and Also its Huge Resale Market

Posted: 09/18/2014 6:22 pm

huaqiang bei iphone resell market greyThe heavily-anticipated iPhone 6, Apple’s newest smartphone, goes on sale today (September 19) in Hong Kong, but not Mainland China. That means demand for the smartphone has increased substantially, with smuggled versions already being listed for RMB 10,000 and up.

But you don’t have to pay that if you don’t need the latest and greatest Apple gadget. Shenzhen houses the massive Foxconn factories where Apple products are produced, but it’s also home to a thriving marketplace that sells these same phones, albeit several models behind.

The arrival of the iPhone 6 has dropped the price of the iPhone 4 down to RMB 1,500 at this market, and budget-conscious consumers are flocking to Open World Communication City in Shenzhen’s Huaqiang North District to purchase refurbished phones.

Older models like the iPhone 4 are popular among many Chinese because they are still Apple phones, but they are cheap.

READ: Taiwan TV: “Chinese Blue Collar Workers Can’t Afford Home Computers”

Huaqiang North District has become an extremely popular place to purchase cheap and fake (shanzhai) electronics after a resurgence in 2010. It has now become a ”barometer” of the electronics economy.

Open World Communication City is full of stalls packed with old iPhones in various conditions, some with cracked screens, and others held together by rubber bands. The mall is equally full of shops that offer repair services for cracked screens and destroyed casing for those who want a fixer-upper.

A seller named Lu sells refurbished iPhone 4′s in bulk at RMB 1,000 each (US $160). Another offers re-polished displays for the iPhone 5 at RMB 170 (US $28).

READ: Unreleased Hong Kong and US Versions of iPhone 6 Already on Sale in Beijing for US$4,500

However, many of the clients that frequent Open World Communication City aren’t individual consumers, but sellers hoping to resell a refurbished phone at a profit. As sellers sell to sellers, the origin of many of these old phones gets lost in the shuffle and dealers won’t disclose where they get their stock from.

US versions of iPhones going on resale in China may come from any number of sources, such as online reseller Gazelle, which revealed that half of its iPhone stock is resold to “emerging markets”.

huaqiang bei iphone resell market grey

As nebulous as the source from which old iPhones are gathered, the products and services offered at the mall and throughout Huaqiang North District are even more suspect. A photo BBS post depicts the method by which an iPhone 5 can be altered to resemble an iPhone 5s, all while emphasizing that it is taking place in Huaqiang North (seen above).

Even though Chinese conservative values emphasize the importance of relationships through business and blood, the social value of owning a status symbol like an iPhone—no matter the model—make it more valuable than diamonds.


Photos:  Qiyexun, Baidu Tieba


Fake iPhone chargers: Cheap, dangerous, and can be purchased anywhere

Posted: 07/18/2013 7:00 am

When flight attendant Ma Ailun was killed after being electrocuted while using her iPhone when it was still on the charger, a CCTV report concluded that her death was probably caused by using an unauthorised (shanzhai) charger.

On Tuesday, an investigative reporter from Guangzhou Daily went into Shenzhen’s Huaqiangbei area and discovered just how easy it is to mistakenly buy a shanzhai charger and looked into exactly how dangerous the chargers can be.

Although in 2011, Xinhua reported that China’s shanzhai industry was declining, and one third of the estimated 3,000 sellers of shanzhai products in Huaqiangbei had left the business, it is still remarkably easy to buy shanzhai products in the area.

Since Ma Ailun’s death, blogger Ken Shirriff has argued that it is completely plausible that a shanzhai charger was responsible for her death. In his blog post “Tiny, cheap, and dangerous: Inside a (fake) iPhone charger,” he states:

There’s 340 volts DC inside the charger, which is enough to kill. In a cheap charger, there can be less than a millimeter separating this voltage from the output, a fraction of the recommended safe distance. These charger sometimes short out, which could send lethal voltage through the USB cable. If the user closes the circuit by standing on a damp floor or touching a grounded metal surface, electrocution is a possibility.

However, there is another possible cause of Ma’s electrocution. Shenzhen Daily has it that the charger may have been intended for use in Japan and malfunctioned because of voltage problems. China has a 220-volt standard. Japan has a standard of 100 volts.

Buy your chargers from reputable stores.


Crowds gather in Huaqiangbei, gang fighting?

Posted: 03/24/2011 5:25 pm

Sina Weibo was all atwitter around 5pm on Thursday regarding what appeared to be a major scuffle in the Huaqiangbei area of Shenzhen. More than 500 people posted comments to Weibo, but nobody seems to know what was going on.

All we know is there was a large crowd on the scene, as well as several police officers. We hope to post more information as we find out, so check back later.

UPDATE (21:17):

Details are still scarce, but we are at least getting some second hand information. First, all references to the event can no longer be found on Sina Weibo, including the photo we’ve included in this post.

@mic tweeted us (@thenanfang) to let us know that it was a gang related confrontation with the police. He said: “Seems to be a gang fighting, hundreds of tenants of Zhuowang Building against with police, for some unknown reasons”

As always, if you know anything let us know and we can pass it on.


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