At least one non-Chinese employee working for Apple was allegedly responsible for hitting customers waiting on line to buy the iPad 2 in Beijing, according to news reports from both local and foreign media.
Though the iPad was released in other countries a couple months ago, it only legally became available in China last Friday.
Sites like Sina's microblog website Weibo.com, Macx.cn, and other online sources are conveying pictures of bloodied, battered, and angry customers outside Apple's Sanlitun store in China's capital city. Apparently the lines were quite long outside the store, and either the store's glass door was broken before or after a foreigner working for Apple allegedly hit a waiting customer.
Both Sina's microblog and technology news sites reported that someone allegedly tried to cut in line, causing waiting customers to become irate. Security guards came to calm the customers, and then a foreign employee, who Sina said was named "John" and was over 1.9 meters in height held a metal rod that he allegedly used to hit at least one of the waiting customers. The commotion grew afterwards, and there are now reportedly four wounded people in the local Chaoyang hospital receiving treatment for injuries caused in the melee.
Apple has not issued a formal response to any of these allegations, but Chinese netizens are giving mixed reactions to the news. Some are saying Apple is at fault, while others question the sanity of the waiting crowds.