Resell Stolen iPhone in China Turns Out to be Legal, Thanks to Apple’s Loophole


A Chinese man living in Beijing said he reported the loss of his iPhone to Apple’s customer service center in January. He was hoping if the thieves return the phone to the repair site, it could be buckle down. His phone did eventually turn up, and maintenance record has also been traced, but his lost iPhone still taken away by someone else.

Some authorized maintenance center don’t require customers to provide an invoice and maintenance card for repairing, the loophole gives the opportunity for those who have stolen phones to exchange it for a new one. All maintenance centers have been authorized to retailers, responded Apple, adding that the incidents should be handled by the retailers. Lawyers said Apple does not bear any responsibility for any losses on the part of the previous owners …

After stealing an Apple iPhone, Chinese thieves will usually sell it to the black market. The Apple handset can go for as much as 2,000 yuan (US$320). The black market operators will look for professional repairman to technically create hardware problems on the phone. Then they will bring it to an Apple authorized maintenance center that doesn’t need to show an original purchase certificate or guarantee card, to exchange for a brand new one. Finally they can resell the new phone at a good price, without concerning whether is a stolen goods. A Beijing lawyer said that Apple and the maintenance centers have not violated customer rights because they can’t guarantee whether the iPhones sent to them are stolen goods.

The black market operators will purposely create hardware problems on the stolen iPhone.
Trafficking in stolen goods is no secret in Chinese mobile phone market. Apple has a service policy that you can exchange a new phone if the device has hardware problems, within the warranty period. Apple doesn’t provide any further responsibility to authorized retailers for fixing it. We can only say Apple certainly can solve this kind of inferior loopholes, a strictly request for original purchase certificate isn’t that difficult.