China greets iPad 2 with scalpers, long lines

The iPad 2 has officially gone on sale in China.

And as expected, there’s a lot of frenzied activity on the streets of the highly populated country. Hundreds of people lined up at the flagship Apple Store in Beijing, for their chance at getting their hands on the device. The local price for the cheapest version of the iPad 2 is 3688 yuan, or about $568.

The tablet sold out instantly, though it’s unknown how many units were shipped to stores there. Apple also quickly took down the ability to order one through its Chinese website, replacing the product page with notification that new orders will ship in one to two weeks.

Both the black and white versions of the iPad 2 were released in China, and all capacity models were available, though there are no 3G units. All are equipped with Wi-Fi chips only.

As to be expected, the launch crowds included numerous scalpers only interested in buying one to sell it back at a profit. According to Apple Insiders, units were being sold on the streets for as little as 3888 yuan, or approximately $30 more than the retail price.

The launch in China adds to the iPad 2’s already impressive international presence. After being released initially only in the US, the device is now available in dozens of countries predominantly in Europe and Asia.