Chinese Schoolchildren And Their Extracurricular iPhone Smuggling

iPhone 8JESHOOTS / Pixabay

The Guangzhou Daily, a southern China-based newspaper, has reported this week that schoolchildren are being used more and more often to smuggle luxury goods, including Apple iPhones, from Hong Kong to mainland China. Since January, China’s customs officials have uncovered over 30 cases of kids using their book bags to smuggle tablets, perfume, and other items that sell for amounts considerably cheaper in Hong Kong than in mainland China.

Historical smugglers

This shouldn’t come as a terrific shock given the propensity of the Chinese to go into business with family, and the Chinese historical trading acumen.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 children travel from their homes in Hong Kong to attend school in the southern city of Shenzhen which borders the former British colony. Smugglers are increasingly threatening or tricking children in Hong Kong and loading them up with electronics to be turned over to their partners in Shenzhen.

iPhone smuggling: We don’t need kids

Chinese smugglers have been quite clever for millennia. In the past, iPhones have been found in smugglers’ tunnels and even packed into sealed larger volume beer bottles. Rarely, outside of the drug trade are smugglers summarily executed any longer and corruption so rampant that even without the kids smugglers will always find a way.

While iPhones make the news, officials are also finding the much sought after Hong Kong birds’ nests in book bags on this heavily traveled school “commute.”

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]

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