Housewives Used to Smuggle iPads and Smartphones Into China

Dec 9, 2010
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With all this talk about the second generation iPad, it could be easy to forget the huge demand that the first iteration still carries. While it's no surprise that the first tablet from Apple still warrants crazed reactions from people, both for the positive and negative, it's definitely a shock to see the lengths in which people will go to get one. Especially when there's profit to be had. And you know it's a big deal when housewives get involved.

According to a new repot from The Wall Street Journal, housewives are being recruited to smuggle in some of the hottest items for the Chinese grey market. That particular market has seen quite the boost over the last couple of years, and most recently, we saw what happens when the iPhone 4 gets involved. Now, with the iPad, officials in Shenzhen have officially detained 14 housewives trying to smuggle the 3G-equipped version into the country. There have been a total of 88 iPads confiscated in the process.

But the iPad isn't the only hot ticket for these housewives. Smuggling rings are also wanting smartphones, in which the Shenzhen officials said they've nabbed 340 of the devices recently. All told, the total bust from these 14 individuals is somewhere in the ballpark of 950,000 yuan, or about $143,000. How are these women doing this? Well, one of them managed to strap 65 smartphones around her waist, and then had another 20 of the things hidden away in her handbag. How much are these women getting paid to risk this kind of smuggling? $30, or 200 yuan. Worth it?

[via Wall Street Journal; thanks, Scott!]


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