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.