A recent bust of 88 iPads and 340 mobile phones that 14 housewives attempted to smuggle into China shows that smartphones and tablets are among the items that are now in demand on the black market. The net worth of the electronics is reported to be 950,000 yuan, or roughly $143,000 by the Guangzhou Daily. One woman had 65 smartphones attached to her waist and another had 20 in her handbag, the newspaper reports. For their efforts they only made $30 each trip, pointing out that smugglers are now targeting people with no criminal records in order to get the black market goods over the border.
The 3G version of the iPad has yet to be released in China so if a citizen wants to get their hands on one, they’re forced to use illegal means, according to the Wall Street Journal. To add to that demand, China has put a tax on bringing iPads legally brought into the country. A report in June 2010 of this year from Guangzhou Daily said smuggling iPhone and iPad cases have been increasing overall, and that was before the iPad with WiFi was released. By the way, it’s not just Chinese housewives who were busted for bringing in the goods: Supermodel Bar Refaeli did not declare her iPad when returning to Israel earlier this year, was charged with smuggling and was forced to pay a fine to get it back.
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