The Cult of Apple in China

China is where most of Apple's signature products are built. One day it might also be where most of them are sold. Why Apple is booming in China

Photo-Illustration by Alexander Crispin for TIME. CGI by Hayri Er.

The eggs started smashing against the Apple Store windows just before dawn. Most of the hundreds of people who swarmed the swank plaza adjacent to the glowing, glass-cube outlet had huddled all night long in Beijing's frigid January temperatures. But these weren't early adopters desperate for the newly released iPhone 4S. Nor were they citizens outraged at the labor conditions inside the Chinese factories that churn out Apple gadgets. Instead, most were rural migrants who had been paid about $15 each to purchase iPhones and then hand them over to scalpers who would sell them at inflated prices. (Each buyer was...

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