Unruly Crowds Force Apple to Halt iPhone 4S Sales in Beijing, Shanghai

Unruly Chinese shoppers forced Apple to cease sales of the iPhone 4S in Beijing and Shanghai on Friday, the first day of the new smartphone’s sales in the country. According to CNN, hundreds of people camped outside an Apple store in Beijing and became angry when it remained closed after its scheduled 7 AM opening time.

Shoppers wait for the Beijing store to open

They began chanting “Open! Open!” and someone hurled eggs at the store. An announcement that the iPhone 4S would be unavailable at that store came over a megaphone, and police officers arrived to push people away and put yellow tape around the plaza. CNN said some shoppers had to be dragged away, and a video of the story on the network’s web site shows a crowd attacking and chasing security guards.

Police attempt to disperse the crowd outside the store

Apple issued a statement that said: “The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible, and our stores in China have already sold out. Unfortunately we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd, and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being.”