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NYC's SoHo Apple Store discriminating against Chinese?

updated 11:10 am EDT, Mon May 10, 2010

Complaint gets backing from local official

Some workers at Apple's SoHo retail store in New York City are discriminating against Chinese people, according to a Queens assemblywoman. Grace Meng notes that she has been approached by several disgruntled shoppers, who allege being denied iPads with inappropriate questions, such as wanting to see passports. "One person was asked why they wanted one since their English was not so good," adds Meng.

In a more extreme scenario, a 33-year-old man from Queens tells the Daily News that initially, one worker told him the store was out of iPads. After deciding to ask a second, Asian employee, the man discovered that there was in fact one available; he was nevertheless questioned later by a manager, who wondered if he was planning to resell it. "I'm just so upset," the man is quoted as saying. "This is racial profiling."

Meng says she has written a letter to Apple, requesting an explanation. Apple spokespeople have so far refused any comment to the media. Meng proposes, however, that the company may be worried about people buying iPads only to sell them in China, where the product may not be officially available for some time. Such tactics hurt the availability of iPads for local customers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If there is a shred of truth to this story, it is an utterly despicable state of affairs. Of course, if it's entirely untrue then the story and it's progenitors are despicable for an entirely different reason.

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Since, acording to Yahoo stats, 80-100K iPads have lets the US BEFORE Apple starts to sell them to international customers, maybe they should change pre-order attitude and start to treat their complete customer base equal - and not (sorry US people) favour the local market so high!
    I don't see why they can't ship 20% of the production to International orders to start with, so they don't have to deal with this at all!

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Huge load of bull

    This is what's really happening... Hoards (not an exaggeration) of illegal immigrants go to the Soho store wanting to purchase iPads for the sole purpose of reselling to companies who grey market them to other countries. Often, these people do not have credit cards and are asked for ID so that Apple can keep track of whom has already made purchases and maintain their 2 iPads per person limit.

    It's a shame that they are trying to use dumb politicians and news agencies to "beat the system". Since this scenario is playing out so often and so pervasively, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a degree of profiling. I feel bad for the legitimate customers who have to suffer because of this.

  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the English

    As a born and bred English person I can say that there is and always has been an undercurrent of racism in English culture.

    It's worse lately with all the migrant populations they have experienced and is probably at it's peak now with all the English people hanging St. George's flag out their windows (which was unheard of even a decade ago), and the rise in popularity of the BNP (a quasi-fascist race based party).

    Most English are good people, but it can't be denied that a lot of them have a ways to go in terms of the whole racial equality thing. Southern England is very similar to the Southern US in that way.

  1. 11211

    Joined: Dec 1969


    kim jong il's...

    personal shopper is Chinese & apparently picked up an ipad here last week. Kim has just set up a twitter account and I hear Steve is angry that Kim tweets from the ipad. sad story but true according to someone in the know.

  1. stgo50

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I am mexican and i live in Mexico I get mi iPad cause a friend of mine order and sent it to me and was very easy ... But but my big complain is about to rent movies, cause don't download correctly and also I need a american credit card with american address to can have all the serivices same thing happen with the postcards of iPhoto so I guess not only theapple employes do discrimination is the entire company who like to do that .... Is Steve from Arizona?

  1. CaribouDave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Racial Profiling? Not!

    Hey folks,

    I happen to live in China and OF COURSE what is happening is that people are buying iPads and reselling them over here, for a huge profit might I add. Racial profiling? No, it's called a store's right not to sell to someone whom they suspect might be undermining their business.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Boo hoo hoo

    Someone was rude to you in NYC? Boo hoo
    hoo complain to your local government.

    Get your 2 iPads from the online Apple store.

    Not sure what the problem is here.

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