Apple 'resolves' clash with shoppers

10:57, May 09, 2011      

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Smashed glass covers the floor by the entrance to the Apple store in Sanlitun Village on Saturday. (Photo / Provided to China Daily)

A confrontation outside the Apple store in Sanlitun Village between a "foreign" staff member and angry customers was resolved peacefully, according to a police source.

Two men and two women suffered minor injuries in the clash, which happened at 3 pm on Saturday as shoppers waited in line to buy the newly released iPad 2 and iPhone 4. A glass door was also smashed in the fracas.

"The store and the injured parties have reached an agreement," said a senior public security official who did not want to be identified. He did not elaborate on the nature of that agreement.

Calls by METRO to Yuna Huang, spokesperson of the Apple store at Sanlitun, went straight to voicemail on Sunday.

According to reports, the incident was started when a foreign worker confronted Ding Wencheng for allegedly jumping the line. This led to an altercation in which Ding was thrown against the corner of an outside wall, causing injuries to his face and wrist.

"He (the staff member) was saying something, but I don't understand English and didn't care about him," Ding told Mirror Evening News, explaining he had been standing near his wife in the line to buy an iPad 2. "He grabbed me by the collar and threw me."

Eyewitnesses said several members of the crowd then began to argue with the foreigner, during which Wang Ming, as well as Ding's mother and aunt, all suffered slight injuries. The glass door was smashed as shoppers surged forward to stop security guards from closing the store.

A blogger called "lti818" on Sina said Ding and Wang were among a group of scalpers who had been refused entry to the store. However, both men denied the claim.

Following the clash, the Apple store was closed. Later that day, a sign was erected stating that line jumping and scalping would not be tolerated. The store reopened at 10 am on Sunday.

Apple opened its Sanlitun store in 2008. Since then, the company has established branches in Xidan, as well as in Shanghai's Pudong district and Huaihai Lu. According to the latest data, Apple made $2.6 billion in Greater China last quarter, a year-on-year increase of 400 percent.

Source: China Daily
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