Chinese newspapers are reporting that 26 suppliers of Lanyou Shuma.com were tried in a Shenzhen court after smuggling more than 162,000 portable electronics worth over $80 million from Hong Kong over the course of two years.
Citing said reports, the Mercury News reveals that half of the suspects are described as “housewives” who made a living by traveling to Hong Kong smuggling iPhones and iPads. For their risky work the women were paid 20 to 30 yuan in commission per each smuggled device.
25 defendants were tried for smuggling both iPads and iPhones, according to the official Shanghai Daily.
The devices reportedly ended up on the virtual shelves of Taobao Marketplace, a unit of Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce site.
An Alibaba spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter, confirming only the closure of Lanyou Shuma.com store. The spokeswoman also said that its company “demands merchants run their businesses in accordance with all regulations and policies.”