Grey Market iPhones take a well needed rest on Taobao?
Given that Apple products are always in high-demand in China, there’s no big surprise that many vendors try and turn a quick buck by importing grey market iPhones to retail on Taobao. It is a bit of a surprise that these vendors continue to push these products even after an official launch (though the lack of official stores in the country is possibly a driver in this).
This week it appears that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has decided to take a stand against this. That’s led to a large number of popular stores (including Very Mobile, Zhongyuan, International Mobile, Lanyou, etc.) suddenly “going on holiday”.
Each store has a temporary closure notice on the online store front. The reasons given are varied – from more training, to improving standards, etc. but there’s a certain consistency that all the affected stores are grey market resellers of the iPhone 4s.
Given the attention that these vendors seem to be receiving at the moment, it might be best to try an alternative path for a grey market iPhone. Or you could just buy a legitimate Chinese version.