Rioting at Beijing Apple Store Over iPhone 4S

Rioting broke out at Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Beijing store after people who had queued up overnight hoping to buy the new iPhone 4S were told that the store would not be selling the phones.

Incensed customers vented their anger by throwing eggs at the store and police had to intervene as scuffles broke out near the store. “I got in line around 11 p.m., and beyond the line, the plaza was chock full with people,” said Huang Xiantong, 26, from northeastern Liaoning province.

However, a large portion of the crowd could have been scalpers looking to scoop up the phones to later sell on the grey market at a profit. Scalpers actually organized groups of representatives to stand in line for a payment of about $16 per phone, plus dinner.

Apple announced that the phone was sold out at its other stores in China. “Unfortunately we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, the iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being,” it said. However, the phones would still be available online though Apple resellers and Apple’s partner, China Unicom (NYSE:CHU).

To contact the reporter on this story: Brooke Edge at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at