For all of you heading south to Hong Kong to pick up your beloved iPhone 4’s and iPad’s, you’ve been warned. Chinese customs officials have been notified to crackdown on iPhones and iPads by assessing a 20% import duty.
Whether this is pressure from Apple or the Chinese government thinking of a clever way to earn a buck or two isn’t exactly clear. But what is clear is that individuals are now prone to search and your phone, opened or not, is fair game for the tax.
In most cases, the iPhones and iPads being taxed are in boxes and unused. But an American-Chinese man said he was charged duty by mainland customs officials at the Lowu border recently for an iPad he had been using for months.
“I showed them the documents and photos I stored in the iPad but they wouldn’t listen. In the end I had to pay 1,000 yuan [HK$1,165] before I could leave,” the man told a mainland newspaper, the National Business Daily.
With 400 iPhone and 100 iPad taxations this month alone it seems they are really taking efforts to blockade the illegal smuggling of iPhones and iPads into the Mainland market seriously.
This follows Apple’s announcement that it no longer will be selling the iPhone 4 in stores but rather using an online reservation system for iPhones to discourage rampant scalping. With lines like the ones we saw in Shanghai it’s not like you can blame them either.
Doing the quick math it might make more sense to try your luck at reserving one here in Shanghai. That is of course, if you don’t mind adhering to China’s worldview on maps.
- Mainland iPhone 4 16GB = 4,999RMB
- HK iPhone 4 16GB = 4,988HKD (4,275RMB)
- Possible customs tax = 855RMB (20% of 4,275RMB)
- Total savings from HK purchase = -131RMB