Malicious bidders fined in sky-high iPhone 7 auction

Zhang Jin China Plus Published: 2017-09-10 14:24:14
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Two men have been fined for malicious bidding after a second-hand iPhone 7 was sold in an online judicial sale for over 41,000 US dollars, reports

A screenshot of the auction shows the iPhone 7 was sold at 270,550 yuan (about 41,740 US dollars). [Photo:]

A screenshot of the auction shows the iPhone 7 was sold at 270,550 yuan (about 41,740 US dollars). [Photo:]

The phone was initially listed at 100 yuan (about 15 US dollars). Bidders could add 50 yuan for each bid, but the price rose dramatically to over 10,000 yuan after only 11 minutes of the auction. It had surged to 90,000 yuan after just 24 hours, when the auction was scheduled to end.

However, an auto extension was triggered 377 times after the scheduled end time, keeping the bidding open for another two and a half hours, until there were no further bids. 

The eventual sale price reached 270,550 yuan (about 41,740 US dollars).

The extraordinary high price triggered heated online discussions, as well as an investigation by the court which conducted the auction.

However, the last bidder surnamed Che refused to pay for the phone, saying he misunderstood the price.

According to a notice released on Saturday by Qinhuai District court in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, Che bid twice during the auction and became the final buyer.

Another bidder surnamed Liu bid 124 times, all but one of those after the scheduled end time triggering the auto extension. On four occasions Liu added over 1000 yuan to the bid price.

Liu admitted that he just wanted to play a prank and didn't really want to buy the phone at such a high price.

The court said Che and Liu carried out malicious bidding despite clear instructions on the online auction page, which had badly disrupted the process of the judicial auction, with a bad impact on society.

Taking into consideration that both bidders had admitted their mistakes actively and regretted their behavior, the court reduced their punishment.

Che was fined 10,000 yuan with Liu fined 20,000.

The court said it would continue investigating incidents of malicious bidding and impose punishment according to law.

Malicious bidders can be fined, detained or even held criminally responsible according to their behavior and impact, said the court.

According to the rules governing online judicial sales which came into effect on January 1 of this year, if the winner of the auction refuses to pay, the deposit he or she paid will not be returned. The buyer will also not be allowed to join bidding for the same item when it is put on sale again.

Previous provisions stipulated that a buyer who regrets bidding should also pay for the difference between the final prices of item in its two auctions, as well as other losses.

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