Remember those riots at the iPhone 4S launch in Shanghai and Beijing last week? Meet the group responsible for them: this orange-capped crowd of scalpers, an army of 500 strong so organized and massive that it took eleven busses to bring them to the event.
The picture above was taken at the Hong Kong Plaza at Huaihai Zhong Road in Shanghai by DFDaily.
A supplemental report by Macenstein says that each of these line-waiters was hired by an organized scalping company (who, judging from the hats, were also perversely using this as an advertising opportunity), who intended on profiting by about 500RMB (or around $78) on the price of every 32GB phone.
Between the five hundred scalpers, each allowed two iPhones each, this group were looking to make about $78,000 from the iPhone 4S launch madness. And since the average income in China is about $11 per day, and the buses imply these were poorer people transported in from the countryside, little of that money probably ended up in the pockets of the actual stormtroopers of this invasion: Chinese peasants.
It’s interesting to note the reaction, though. We think of scalping as pretty much ubiquitous in China, but people were enraged enough at this crowd of scalpers that the Chinese authorities needed to call in S.W.A.T. Obviously, the average Chinese person also thinks scalping is pretty repellant… but what can be done to curb it?
- Via Obama Pacman