ZooPDA — which has often been critical of Xiaomi — has published an exposé that reveals why Xiaomi phones often sell out quickly, leading many everyday people to complain they can never buy one at the advertised price [Google Translate; also drop URL into Bing Translator -- this needs dual translation!].
There are four types of scalpers. Perhaps the worst are the groups on QQ who “invest” in buying quantities of Xiaomi phones to resell at higher prices.
Even though Xiaomi has safeguards such as CAPCHAs to defeat bots and mass purchases, there’s software to circumvent that.
Another safeguard to prevent scalping is an SMS confirmation message. But that only led to the creation of a service that will “launder” the SMS!
This is an article someone really needs to translate into clear English.
I’ve always suspected that “limited” sales of the kind Xiaomi engages in would lead to abuse. But the scale of it is astounding. It’s an entire industry that’s been created to milk would-be Xiaomi buyers.
This further leads me to think that the reason why the MiPad went from limited to open sales so quickly is a lack of popularity. While it’s the best Android tablet available in China, Xiaomi violated its reputation for surprisingly-affordable pricing. That alienated potential buyers. Given a choice between the MiPad and an iPad, people would rather spend double for the best — or just spend far less for a “good enough” Chinese brand tablet.