Attempts to smuggle iPhones in Hong Kong are continuing as the price of iPhones is up to 30% cheaper than in mainland China. Recently, there has been a case of being caught trying to pass through customs with 68 iPhones wrapped around the body.
On the 8th, Apple Insider, a US IT media, reported that a Chinese man was recently caught at Qingmao Customs in Macau while trying to smuggle an iPhone without declaring it to customs.
According to customs, the man was wearing bulky clothes that were not suitable for the hot weather and the way he walked was strange. The customs officer토토사이트, who was suspicious of this, investigated and found that 68 old iPhones were wrapped with tape around the man’s waist, abdomen, and legs.
For several years, smuggling of Apple’s mobile devices, including iPhones, has been spreading like wildfire in China. Although iPhones are officially sold locally, the price is higher than in other countries due to high tariffs and VAT, a type of value-added tax imposed by the government.
In Hong Kong, however, iPhones are up to 30% cheaper than on the mainland, so smugglers gamble on this niche. It buys Hong Kong iPhones in bulk and resells them on the mainland or returns them to Apple in China to make a profit.
In this regard, Apple Hong Kong is also known to be considering a plan. In 2017, the refund policy was revised to prevent smuggling. Apple, which originally provided refunds within 14 days of purchase regardless of product defects, made an exception only in Hong Kong. Refunds are only allowed if the device is defective. In the case of purchasing 4 or more of the same product, the exchange period has been reduced to within 7 days of purchase, even for defective devices.
Nevertheless, the smugglers’ risky gamble continued one after another. Recently, ‘iPhone armor’ caught in the tail is said to be a very common smuggling method. In 2015, a Chinese man was caught trying to smuggle 94 iPhone 6 models from his legs to his chest. The total weight of the device he was trying to bring in reached 12 kg, and he was called ‘iPhone Man’. The man was sentenced to 7 years in prison and fined 2 million Hong Kong dollars (approximately 338 million won).
That year, another man who carried out iPhone smuggling in the same way was caught and became a hot topic as the ‘second iPhone man’. He was caught trying to bring 146 iPhones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the mainland, 52 more than the “one iPhone man.”
A more ‘evolved method’ also drew attention. In 2018, a gang was caught using an unmanned aerial vehicle to hang 10 iPhones at once and move them from Hong Kong to China. They were found to have smuggled 15,000 iPhones worth 500 million yuan (about 91 billion won).