The thorns in Apple’s side

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IOL pic jun10 apple logo app store rules Reuters The company's logo in the lobby of New York's flagship Apple store.

Hong Kong - Border officials in southern China busted a ring believed to have smuggled electronic goods worth 79 million US dollars from Hong Kong, a news report said on Friday.

The goods - mostly iPads, iPhones and iPods - were allegedly sold via the internet after being smuggled from Hong Kong, evading taxes of 20 percent, the South China Morning Post reported.

Police in the Chinese border city of Shenzhen said 104 suspects were involved in the case and 68 had been detained for involvement in smuggling more than 100,000 items over the past year.

Under Chinese customs regulations, electronic goods, such as iPhones and iPads, do not qualify for the tax-free status afforded to items carried over the border for personal use and, therefore, attract the tax.

The regulation has been more stringently enforced in the past 18 months to crack down on parallel traders who make a profit from reselling much sought-after Apple goods after buying them cheaper in Hong Kong, where there is no tax and the products are released on the market earlier.

Such trade has fuelled demand in Hong Kong and led to huge queues for Apple products when they are released in the city with many changing hands for 50 percent more than the original selling price. - Sapa-dpa

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