It is true that iphone in HK is much cheaper than in mainland because mainland has a quite high tax rate 17%, while HK is tax free. There are many people secretly carrying iphone from HK to mainland Shenzhen without declaring to mainland custom authorities. Apparently it is a easy way to make money, earn at least 17% of a iphone’s total value. Say a iphone pricing RMB 6000 in HK, while it is 6000 + 6000 * 17% in mainland, easily can earn 1020. Considering the exchange rate between HKD and RMB, the profit may be more.
Days ago in Feb. 1st in 2018. Police found a group of smugglers secretly transporting iphone from HK to mainland. And the quantity is enormous, the transportation is quite high tech.
In late 2017, residents reported to police that there may be some smugglers transporting goods from HK to Shenzhen. Shenzhen Custom finally caught the criminals after investigated for a few months.
Just on the border, the smugglers rent a high floor house in Luohu, and also rent another in HK. The two house is extremely close, only around 200 meters. They used drone to build two rope channels between the two houses. From middle night to early morning, they secretly transport second-hand iphone from HK to Shenzhen.
Each rope channel managed by 4 to 5 people. It only takes seconds to transport a package carrying 10+ iphones. Two cable channels can transport 15,000 pcs iphone from middle night to dawn. While smuggle one iphone, the smugglers can get RMB 100 (US $15) profit. So just one day, the smuggling can generate profit of RMB 1.5 million (us $0.2 million)
It is reported that the group started the business from 2016, illegally transported goods from HK to meet demands of mainland clients. Main producst are refurbished iphone, few are brand new iphone. The smugglers are very clever. They bribed the community property security guards to work for them, and decide if conduct the smuggling considering weather, market and other conditions. They even contact by argots. Every month, they work around 10 days.
On 1st Feb 2018, 29 law enforcement teams caught the whole smuggler group in Luohu Dist and Futian Dist, 26 suspects including 2 property security guards. In the crime scene, 4,000 brand mobile phones, drones, and other crime tools were found. The total smuggling amount is around RMB 500 million (US $75 million).
These recent years, iphone smuggling happens a lot. Some smugglers even handy carry to cheat on Custom check. They bond dozens of iphone on their bodies.