China Crisis: Apple Pull Sales Of iPhones In Beijing After Mini Riot
Apple has suspended the sale of all iPhones in China after a mini riot broke out at the launch of the 4S.
Keen to get their hands on the new phone and test out Siri, crowds of Chinese Apple fans gathered outside the Beijing Apple store, some having queued through the night.
However the size of the crowd was much bigger than the store had anticipated and the decision was made not to open.
This, unsurprisingly, left the crowd a little upset and things turned nasty.
Amid shouts of “open the door” and “liar”, eggs were thrown at the shiny glass building and scuffles broke out with police, who were called to calm things down.
One man told TV cameras: “I’ve been waiting here since yesterday afternoon, then this morning they say they won’t sell. They broke customers’ hearts.”
The shop was cordoned off and closed as a big launch turned into a big PR disaster.
Apple said, in a statement, that it decided not to open its store at Sanlitun “due to the large crowd, and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees”.
It also said that it was halting the sale of iPhones at all its retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai “for the time being”.
Other stores in Beijing and Shanghai opened without incident and reported rapid sales, so much so that Apple the iPhone 4S is now sold out in stores in China.