Thursday, December 09, 2010

Chinese smugglers recruit housewives for iPad gambit

If you can't get it into the country legally, smuggle it in. Particularly, it appears, if its the 3G iPad, 88 of which 14 housewives were reportedly trying to smuggle into China.

Customs officials in Shenzhen, a southern Chinese city just across the border from Hong Kong, which is famous for its Foxconn manufacturing plant (and the suicides there, as well) made the catch. 14 housewives tried to smuggle in 88 iPads and 340 mobile phones into China. The haul was worth 950,000 yuan, or roughly $143,000.

Showing just how cheap labor is in China, the women, who are being detained, were earning 200 yuan, or about $30, for each trip across the border. Apple already sells the wi-fi version of the iPad in China, but those wanting the 3G version must visit China's grey market.

To make matters worse for those importing iPads, China has reportedly begun collecting a tax on iPads carried into the country, even those for personal use.

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