Hong Kong’s grey market is well known, and there are lots of news stories about iPhones being smuggled across the border. Being so close to mainland China, Apple devices are often a hot commodity for smugglers. According to M.I.C. Gadget, Hong Kong customs busted a huge shipment of grey market iPhones and iPads. The truck contained 227 iPhone 5s, 22 iPads and a bunch of other electronics.
In total, the shipment contained around 1 million HKD in iPhones (about $129,000 U.S.), some of which were hidden in the dash of the truck. M.I.C. Gadget reports that using a big truck like this for a shipment is relatively new in Chinese smuggling. Before security tightened up it was more common that individuals would just cross the border with much smaller, separate stashes of grey market Apple products.
Apple has been working towards eliminating the grey market business. One way is to open a new Apple Store in Shenzhen to help prevent smugglers and scalpers. The iPhone 5 hasn’t officially gone on sale yet in China, which has created more demand for the new devices. One report states that about half of the one million iPads sold in China during Q2 2011 were from the grey market.
Image Credit: M.I.C. Gadget