Frenzied Chinese iPad buyers lead to brawl at Apple Store

While the details of this incident remain scarce at this point, it appears an incident has occurred at the flagship Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing, China during the rush to purchase the newly launched iPad 2. It is difficult to make out details from poorly translated reports, but it seems that some customers were so frustrated in queues outside the store to the point they have lashed out at employees.

For some bizarre reason, the “foreign” Apple Store employees were armed with “iron rods” and proceeded to brawl with customers in the agitated queue, injuring four customers seriously enough that they had to be admitted to hospital. Other damage included a destroyed glass door to the Apple Store, which is easily fixable unlike some of the wounds sustained to customers as shown in pictures 9to5mac obtained.

It is unclear what exactly caused the conflict, but what could be ascertained from translated reports indicates the possibility of a stock shortage or extremely long queues and hot weather attributing to the unrest.

Long and frustrating lines at Apple product launches are common, especially at flagship stores such as the New York 5th Avenue glass cube, however to see Apple Store employees armed and ready to fight customers at a sign of unrest would be very unusual in a United States (or any other Western based) store.

Update: A new report has emerged that claims resellers for the white iPhone 4 (not iPad 2) were told to wait in line and prevented from entering the store. They got agitated, annoyed and broke the glass door worth US$46,000, which led to a non-Chinese employee attacking the resellers with a metal club; they were then hospitalized

Image credit: MacX.cn

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36 Comments

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The Chinese people must be fighting for the price. Since iPhone and iPad are all produced in China, the people must have asked for discounts.

"to see Apple Store employees armed and ready to fight customers" would make me the happiest person alive. Although, I would probably get assaulted if I walked in with a xoom.

As a Chinese fortunately born and educated in Hong Kong, I facepalm once again at the median quality of civilized behaviour of China-Chinese.

Chinese translation (sometimes abridged) of various reports of this incident (excuse the rushed translation and unusual English but it's still better than machine translation):
For photos, click into the links.

http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...tside-sanlitun-apple-store/

Phil_123 said,
As a Chinese fortunately born and educated in Hong Kong, I facepalm once again at the median quality of civilized behaviour of China-Chinese.

Chinese translation (sometimes abridged) of various reports of this incident (excuse the rushed translation and unusual English but it's still better than machine translation):
For photos, click into the links.

http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...tside-sanlitun-apple-store/

Oh, and according to the two news reports I read so far, zero mention of iron rods. Either: 1. Zero iron rods are mentioned, or 2. Zero iron rods were involved in this brawl in the first place.

b0nker said,
wow. Won't be shopping at any apple store

Yeah u should also stop driving altogether when u meet with a road accident.

can't believe that there's no video of it, c'mon, a line full of apple fans?. So far it seems that it was just a line rush when they opened the store, probably a guy was trying to get ahead and everything exploded from there on... everything else must be exagerations. If there were rods probably was from private security or something like that... well I guess that could count as Apple Employee anyways lol

Why blame only the apple employees? Obviously the citizens did something wrong to agitate them, although it isn't right to hit them. I hope all included get arrested.

Navan said,
Why blame only the apple employees? Obviously the citizens did something wrong to agitate them, although it isn't right to hit them. I hope all included get arrested.

The employees seemed to be defending themselves and their store. I would only jail people crazy enough to fight for a stupid block of electronics.

those wounds don't look all that significant.
looks mainly like cuts from glass.
too many people trying to rush the door, impatient to get their latest apple cr*p.

thommcg said,
Its it in new iTunes terms and conditions that Apple staff may beat customers.

Yeah, saw that too, go figure ... it even says and I quote ...

"We (Apple) reserve the right to club people standing in queue for any Apple device and probe them with yet unannounced device such that we can collect data without the user knowing from their excrement hole for further study"

Nuff said, line up and you get probed ... Hurray !!!

zeta_immersion said,

"We (Apple) reserve the right to club people standing in queue for any Apple device and probe them with yet unannounced device such that we can collect data without the user knowing from their excrement hole for further study" ... Hurray !!!

^that