Apple Halts In-Store iPhone 4S Sales in China Over Safety Concerns

Following early morning chaos at Apple's Sanlitun retail store in Beijing that prevented Apple from opening the store for the iPhone 4S launch, Reuters reports that the company has temporarily halted in-store sales of the device at all five of its retail stores in China.

"The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible and our stores in China have already sold out," an Apple spokeswoman said.

"Unfortunately, we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd. And to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees, iPhones will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being," she said.

The statement noted that customers would still be able to order the iPhone 4S through Apple's website or through carrier partner China Unicom. Apple's Chinese online store is, however, currently out of stock of all iPhone 4S models and not taking any orders.

police iphone 4s sanlitun
Police organizing to handle disruptions at Apple's Sanlitun retail store (Source: M.I.C gadget)

Teams of scalpers are very active at Apple's retail stores in China, with their efforts to snap up as much of the available supply of popular products as possible leading to significant tensions, particularly at product launches. Disruptions have occasionally forced Apple to briefly shut certain stores and tweak their purchasing requirements as they seek to manage the situation, but this morning's "near-riot" at the Sanlitun store seems to have been the most significant situation yet.

Top Rated Comments

*LTD* Avatar
131 months ago
I agree. It sickens me that we continually support companies like Apple than have no regard for human life. As far as I'm concerned, every time we buy from Apple it is using blood money.

Sent from my iPhone
Then I'm not sure where you'll get your tech from.

Foxconn's major customers:

Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
Amazon.com (United States)
Amazon (United States)
ASRock (Taiwan)
Asus (Taiwan)
Barnes & Noble (United States)
Cisco (United States)
Dell (United States)
EVGA Corporation (United States)
Hewlett-Packard (United States)
Intel (United States)
IBM (United States)
Lenovo (China)
Logitech (Switzerland)
Microsoft (United States)
MSI (Taiwan)
Motorola (United States)
Netgear (United States)
Nintendo (Japan)
Nokia (Finland)
Panasonic (Japan)
Philips (Netherlands)
Samsung (South Korea)
Sharp (Japan)
Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)
Toshiba (Japan)
Vizio (United States)


And that's just Foxconn. Then there all the other companies in China and Taiwan that do the same thing. One can only imagine who else their customers are.

If you're typing your self-righteous posts from a modern computer or portable device, you're involved in that whole "blood money" thing already. You're as guilty as I am.

Calling for a halt to production and refusing to buy tech from Apple or anyone else is a ridiculous solution to a problem that can only be resolved by the governments of the countries in which these production plants are located.

Cheap labour is a reality, especially given that the United States is no longer globally competitive in manufacturing. It's simply not economical. When someone else in some other country can do it cheaper while maintaining a reasonable level of Quality Control, corporations will naturally shift production there.

If you'd like to move production back to the US or into your backyard (that has apparently been blessed by a saint), then be prepared to pay more for the same products. Unionization and the lifestyle expectations of the average American worker have seen to that. Of course, if you like your internet, your apps, your advanced mobile device, and the luxury of posting your remarks from them, then you'll find yourself in a bit of a pickle. What you're actually proposing is to not buy "made in China" at all. Good luck with that.

So you see, it isn't as simple as refusing to buy from company A or B as a symbol of protest, unless of course, you're ready to make some serious sacrifices in your level of technological comfort. Last I checked, the internet doesn't run on a piece of wood.

So I assume we won't be seeing you around here for a while. Amirite?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnyb Avatar
131 months ago
China, a country where people hate America

They do?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
crazy4apple Avatar
131 months ago
Ooooh i can see samsung use this in their ADs

*Scene opens on rowdy crowd, police in riot gear standing between them and the store. A narrator comes on.*

"Tired of the drama? The stress? The danger? Then switch to the phone for which no one waits in line."

*Cut to 360 spin on Samsung Galaxy X S Pro Epic Elite 4G LTE II+, it's in a white void. Silence.*

"Samsung. The phones for which no one will beat you up, the phones that no one will steal."

:D:D:D:D:D:D:cool::cool::cool:
:apple: for life peeps
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VicMacs Avatar
131 months ago
launch in Dominican Republic

Launch has gone smoothly in our small country, one carrier opened sales at midnight to a very long line of customers while the other waited until 9am and people are getting their hands on their iPhones. Since there are no factory unlocked phones here in the Dominican Republic, there is no scalper gang to fend off, which is a good thing.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thenerdal Avatar
131 months ago
Then I'm not sure where you'll get your tech from.

Foxconn's major customers:

Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
Amazon.com (United States)
Amazon (United States)
ASRock (Taiwan)
Asus (Taiwan)
Barnes & Noble (United States)
Cisco (United States)
Dell (United States)
EVGA Corporation (United States)
Hewlett-Packard (United States)
Intel (United States)
IBM (United States)
Lenovo (China)
Logitech (Switzerland)
Microsoft (United States)
MSI (Taiwan)
Motorola (United States)
Netgear (United States)
Nintendo (Japan)
Nokia (Finland)
Panasonic (Japan)
Philips (Netherlands)
Samsung (South Korea)
Sharp (Japan)
Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)
Toshiba (Japan)
Vizio (United States)


And that's just Foxconn. Then there all the other companies in China that do the same thing. One can only imagine who else their customers are.

If you're typing your self-righteous posts from a modern computer or portable device, you're involved in that whole "blood money" thing already.

Calling for a halt to production and refusing to buy tech from Apple or anyone else is a ridiculous solution to a problem that can only be resolved by the governments of the countries in with these production plants are located.

Cheap labour is a reality, especially given that the United States is no longer globally competitive in manufacturing. It's simply not economical. When someone else in some other country can do it cheaper while maintaing a reasonable level of Quality Control, corporations will naturally shift production there.

If you'd like to move production back to the US or into your backyard (that has apparently been blessed by a saint), then be prepared to pay more for the same products. Unionization and the lifestyle expectations of the average American worker have seen to that. Of course, if you like your internet, your apps, your advanced mobile device, and the luxury of posting your remarks from then, then you'll find yourself in a bit of a pickle. What you're actually proposing is to not buy "made in China" at all. Good luck with that.

So you see, it isn't as simple as refusing to buy from company A or B as a symbol of protest, unless of course, you're ready to make some serious sacrifices in your level of technological comfort.

So I assume we won't be seeing you around here for a while. Amirite?

LTD is right for once lol.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
basesloaded190 Avatar
131 months ago
Kinda what they deserve. If they are going to act like animals over a phone, it's only for the best that it isn't sold right now.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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