China's Apple Frenzy Triggers Wave of Smuggling
In a crowded multi-storeyed marketplace in downtown Shenzhen, a store owner haggles with a cigarette-smoking customer over the price for a bulk sale.
They aren't bargaining over fake watches or counterfeit leather bags, but genuine Apple iPads and iPhones--freshly smuggled from Hong Kong, a free port with zero duties for many electronics imports.
"This is real stuff that just arrived. We just got these off someone's waist strap," said the storeowner, whose surname is Xu, while the customer ran his fingers through a stash of cash upon closing the deal to buy a dozen iPhone 4s.