The first Apple Store in Hong Kong opened today on 24th September 2011. It is the 6th Apple Store in China, other five Apple Stores are in Beijing and Shanghai while the previous Apple Store was opened in Shanghai yesterday.
Rumor says that these two Apple retail stores chose to open in later September is for the coming Chinese golden week, the 7 days national holiday. Unlike the mainland China, technically HongKong does not celebrate the Chinese national day. However there are a lot of mainland people cross over to Hong Kong to shop for luxury brands, so Apple chose to open its first store in Hong Kong just before the Chinese national holiday is a good timing.
The first Apple Store in Hong Kong is located at International Financial Center Mall of Hong Kong. This is the most busy and upscale CBD area of Hong Kong, a must visit area for mainland tourists.
The store is said to be Apple’s most expensive retail location yet, with estimated construction costs of $20 million.
Huge crowds of Apple fans wait in a queue before the opening of the first Apple retail store in Hong Kong. It is said more than one thousand people queued up in the long line over night along an overpass near Hong Kong Victoria Harbour. According to security guards, the first person in line arrived sometime on Thursday evening, two days before its opening on Saturday.
The first 5,000 Apple fans in line were rewarded with the free T-shirts. It looks like bellow:
Apple has very huge user base in China, the supply is far less enough to satisfy the huge demand for iPads and iPhones in Hong Kong and mainland China. The demand over supply created the prosperous “grey market” in Hong Kong, they bought in iPad and iPhones from the grey market then resell for hefty premiums in Hong Kong or smuggle into Shenzhen to sell the iPad in Shenzhen and other cities in China mainland. See Shenzhen iPad Smuggling.
Ironically iPad, iPhone and other Apple products were first assembled by massive Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, then shipped to America. After that Hong Kong businessmen imported the iPad from America through gray market and smuggling into Shenzhen and China mainland again.
Hopefully the rampant smuggling and fake Apple stores will soon stop with more and more official Apple retail store opens in China.