So since this has become my default dead drop for stuff about China, here's something now.
This is the entire, oblique text from an email I got from Uber in Shanghai:
Subject: GET THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SMARTPHONE VIA UBER TOMORROW!
Hey William Clay,
The wait is over! October 17th is the day we have been waiting for – the highly anticipated smartphone will finally hit stores in China. We’ve all heard about how hard it is to get your hands on this phone due to high demand. Well, Uber has the perfect arrangement for you!
This Friday, from 10am-3pm, select “PHONE” on the slider bar, and we’ll send you an authorized specialist from whom you can purchase the phone on-demand!
How to request:
Place the pin at your desired location and select the “PHONE” option. Uber will send an authorized specialist to your location so you can purchase the phone without any reservation.
Upon arrival, you will proceed to purchasing the phone. Please bring cash or your bank card. We expect it to take approximately 10 minutes to complete the process.
Once the registration is complete, the phone will be in your hands!
Before requesting, please read these precautions carefully:
Smartphone model available: the 16GB, 4.7” model in dark grey color. Other types, capacities and colors will not be available.
You will be limited to purchasing one phone per request, meaning anyone else will not be eligible to purchase a phone.
There will be a limited quantity of phones. We expect high demand and will end the service once out of stock.
After you request on the “PHONE” option, an Uber staff will call you. Please note that if we are unable to get in touch with you, your request will be cancelled.
This event is only available within the inner ring of Shanghai city.
We hope you take advantage of this opportunity to become among the first few in Shanghai to get hold of this phone on the launch day.
Love, Team Uber Shanghai
This is so Shanghai I could plotz -- Uber has a bunch of iPhone6s, but they are not allowed to say they have iPhone6's, hence "THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SMARTPHONE."
And since they want to unload them all immediately, instead of going to a place and selling them, they are willing to throw (cheap) driver-time at the sales problem, doing custom cash on delivery. And of course, the Uber audience will be disproportionately the people able to pay for such a thing.
The whole improvisational commerce aspect of China is just fascinating to watch...