Violence Breaks Out Saturday at Beijing Apple Store

Apparently staff and customers got in a fight at Beijing’s flagship Apple Store resulting in a broken window and a Chinese man being beaten up. This news is still developing and no clear picture of what happened has emerged. From modmyi.com:

An ugly scene was depicted Saturday at Apple’s flagship store in Beijing, and the specific cause of the violence remains shrouded in some degree of mystery. “Penn-Olson: The Asian Tech Catalog” has published a brief account of the scuffle that resulted in shattered glass and at least one beaten, bloodied Apple customer.

According to the report, the incident “left one man – allegedly – beaten by a ‘foreign Apple employee,’ three other people injured, and a few panes of glass shattered.” As we know, the iPad 2 went on sale at China’s four Apple stores as recently as Friday. Although it isn’t yet clear if the tussle was related to the new Apple product in some fashion, the long lines and swelling, frustrated crowds may have played a role in pushing the “Apple employee” in question over the edge.

Other outlets are reporting that the fight was between a scalper and an Apple employee, ultimately resulted in four having to go to the hospital. From Apple Insider:

Chinese Mac site MacX (via Google Translate) reports that the Beijing Sanlitun Apple Store temporarily closed for business on Saturday afternoon after an altercation allegedly broke out between scalpers and an Apple Store employee, though the specific details of the incident remain unclear.

The apparent facts of the incident are that four people were injured and taken to the hospital, one of the glass doors for the Apple Store was broken and the store was closed for a time for cleanup and a subsequent police investigation.
The report alleges that a near “riot” erupted after retail staff attempted to close the store and usher customers out the back door. A separate unconfirmed report claims that a fight broke out between “a foreigner and a Chinese man,” though MacX notes that the information “is difficult to distinguish between true or false.”

The May 6 release of the IPad2 in China has caused a buying frenzy. An estimated 1000 were waiting in line as the Apple store opened and the  IPad2 sold out in just four hours. From CNET:

The iPad 2 debuted in China this morning to what is fast becoming a standard reception: massive lines and quick stock-outs.

That the device had been unofficially available on the market–through sellers who brought it into the country after buying the device overseas–did little to quell demand, which drove hundreds of hopeful buyers to queue overnight outside Apple’s four stores in Beijing and Shanghai. “When we arrived here at around 4 a.m., there were already more than 500 people waiting,” an Apple security guard at the company’s downtown Beijing store told Xinhua. “The crowd rose to some 1,000 people when the store opened.”

Sales began promptly at 8 a.m., the first retail stock-out was reported about four hours later, and by Friday afternoon the iPad shipping estimates at Apple’s Chinese Online Store had gone from “1-2 weeks” to “No Supply.”

May 7, 2011 12:56 PM
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