Just 24 hours into business, China's first online Apple Store has sold its entire stock of iPhone 4s. Writing for The Global Times, Wang Xinyuan says, "Apple Inc's new online Chinese-language store was a big hit with consumers Wednesday after it sold out its entire stock of iPhone 4s on the first day."
Apple hopes to tap into China's fast-growing online shopping market, which saw business of 120 billion yuan (about US$17.91 billion as of this writing) worth of transactions in the third quarter of this year.
More importantly, Apple hopes the online store will further thwart the gray market that has been a consistent problem in China. Supply shortages and the prestige of owning the device have created a large network of unauthorized resellers. Recently, Apple Store security was required to temporarily close a Beijing Apple Store and adopt a one-per-customer policy when customers began to purchase iPhones in bulk and re-sell them right outside of the store.
As for the online store, The Global Times reports that its stock will not be immediately replenished, and is encouraging customers to check back often for updates.