China Is Cracking Down On Imported iPhone 6s

China Is Cracking Down On Imported iPhone 6s

Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6 and 6 Plus have yet to get released in China. That said, many Chinese already have purchased the phones from foreign markets — purchases where China makes no money off the sales tax. Now, Chinese customs is looking to crack down and cash in.

Chinese mobile games website, an offshoot of games news site, reports that the China’s General Administration of Custom has started to focus on incoming residents carrying new iPhones.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus won’t be officially available in China until Friday but Chinese buyers who want one already have one. They either purchased it via the expansive technology grey market or purchased one while abroad. With the new focus on levying taxes, Chinese citizens who return from abroad with a new iPhone may be fined up to 20 per cent the value of their new phone.

In China, foreign made goods such as the iPhone tend to have a high value added tax put on it. In China this VAT is 17 per cent.

Since the iPhones launched, Chinese customs have seized over 1000 imported iPhones.

Now, some people have pointed out that this kind of focus is generally focused on grey market importers and resellers. Load of Chinese folk have been spotted abroad purchasing iPhones in bulk to send back to China for profit. When the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus first launched, they fetched a grey market price of upwards of $US1600. That’s nearly double the price of the average iPhone.

This time around, the Shanghai Customs administration is also looking people bringing back iPhones for personal use. 97973 points out that people normally purchase items abroad and that it’s difficult for the authorities to determine what is personal use and what is for resale. In response, the an officer with the customs authority in Shanghai Pudong Airport related that its done on a case by case basis and that passengers coming into China should declare all goods.

The officer mentions that passengers coming into China are allowed to bring in undeclared goods with a combined worth of about $US816, that includes products for personal use and gifts. According to the officer, Chinese customs officer will be going with Chinese iPhone prices.

Depending on the customs officer, passengers bringing in iPhones and not declaring them can be fined around 20 per cent of the product’s total cost. If they do declare the product and are found to break the allotted amount, they would have to pay taxes from anywhere from $US65-$US100.

Effectively China’s trying to cash in on and collect taxes on the iPhones, products made in China and being brought abroad by Chinese people.

Needless to say, online reactions in China have not been good. On the Sina repost of the article, commenters were less than happy with the news.

*expletive deleted, personal used phones need to be taxed??? Foreign purchased iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t even cost 5000 yuan, how can you tax that???? which *expletive deleted decided this?

Definitely have to pay taxes, how else will they beat the Apple company?

It’s not clear how strict this will all be enforced and how this will work out after Friday, when the the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are released in China. Hey, there’s always the iPhone 7!

境外自用iPhone6也要缴税 最低400元 [97973 via]

Picture: Getty Images


  • This blows me away; they crack down on imports of a genuine product but don’t give a shit about the hundreds of manufacturers of illegal knock-off’s within the country.

    And as for the crux of the story, are they seriously that greedy?
    “One of our citizens bought something overseas! Quick, how do we cash in?!”

      • They aren’t “illegal” as China does not recognize foreign copyright law. 🙂

        They smile and pretend they can’t understand it.

        You slap them in the face with a wad of cash and suddenly you’re speaking the same language.

        Land of the greasy palms.

        • LOL That’s pretty xenophobic.. They don’t recognize it because it’s a broken system and they see no merit to it – patent’s as well.

          They are industrious as a nation and encourage the ideal of “If you can do it, do it.” without a lot of bureaucratic messing around. No greasing of palms required when it comes to ideas there. If anything, the western system requires far more greasing of palms – look at Android for example, which is required to pay both Apple AND Microsoft money for every device licence sold.. Lunacy.

          • LOL That’s pretty xenophobic

            I was joking around, mostly brought on by how greedy and unfair my previous Chinese employer was.

            look at Android for example, which is required to pay both Apple AND Microsoft money for every device licence sold.. Lunacy.

            Seriously? I gotta look that up!

          • They probably also pay a number of other companies too, it’s likely that both Apple and MS also pay each other for every phone sold too…

            To say Patents aren’t working as intended in the US is a huge understatement.

    • You do realise you have to pay tax on goods you import back into Australia right? If you go to China and buy a $1000 phone then you’ll have to pay tax when you pass through customs in Aus.

      Also they’re a self centered government who only really cares about their citizens and concerns, of which IP protection isn’t one.

      Honestly not sure if your post is racist or just ignorant…

  • My mate who’s job is Apple product care said that at the midnight launch he went to basically the whole line were Asians and when he asked them what they were looking for they said they were just getting the iPhones in order to send them overseas for re-selling

    • It’s more like 50-70% but they are all buying multiple phones and their transactions are much quicker, so it feels like there’s more of them.

  • I’m more surprised they are buying these at all. Didn’t they read about problems with bending? etc

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