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Apple pays compensation over Beijing brawl

10 may 2011, 16:43
US high-tech giant Apple said staff at its flagship Beijing store acted in self-defence when a fight broke out, resulting in injuries to a customer who has since been compensated, reports said Tuesday, AFP reports.

Scuffles broke out at the Apple store in the Chinese capital on Saturday, with crowds jumping queues and smashing the store's glass door as they rushed to snap up the popular iPad 2 tablet computer and the white iPhone 4 handset.

"The Apple Store Sanlitun was closed for several hours on Saturday after a group outside the store became unruly," Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu told AFP in a statement.

"The store team acted to protect themselves and our customers by closing the doors and preventing the group from entering. The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority."

According to state press reports, angry consumers rushed the store after a "foreign" Apple employee allegedly stepped into the crowd to push and beat people suspected of queue-jumping.

On Tuesday, the Global Times reported that Ding Wencheng, 27, reached a 20,000-yuan ($3,000) settlement with the store for the injuries he suffered during the fracas.

Police helped mediate the settlement, the report said, but it was unclear if three other customers reportedly hospitalised during the melee were also compensated.

Consumers lined up for hours at Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai when the iPad 2, the updated version of the tablet computer, went on sale in the world's biggest Internet market on Friday.

Lines for the popular iPad 2 grew so long that people began selling their places in the queue, while a secondary market also developed with consumers reselling the tablet computers for profit, reports said.

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