iPad 2 demand fuels China corruption
Hong Kong - Twenty-four people were arrested in Hong Kong for alleged bribery in relation to the sale of tablet computers, such as Apple iPad 2, officials said on Wednesday.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption said the group was arrested in an operation that began on Friday.
They are believed to include 13 members of staff from branches of the electrical appliance chain Fortress, and 11 so-called parallel traders who buy goods in Hong Kong to sell for profit over the border in China.
The popularity of the iPad 2 in China and lower prices in Hong Kong, where it retails for $60 to $100 less, has led parallel traders to seek out stock over the border.
The commission said the staff of the electrical chain are suspected of accepting bribes from the traders in return for revealing where the computers where in stock and helping them purchase large quantities.
All those arrested have been released on bail while the investigation continues.
Rising inflation in China has fuelled the growth of parallel traders and shopping trips during which mainland Chinese stock up on cheaper household essentials at Hong Kong supermarkets and shopping malls.
Similar incidences of traders allegedly bribing shop workers arose during a shortage of baby milk formula this year.