Tickets for the Beijing Olympic Games, which kick off next week, have sold out, but that hasn't stopped scalpers, known in China as "huang niu" or yellow bulls, from selling thousands of tickets online, despite threats of fines and possible detentions of up to 15 days, Reuters reported.
Some tickets are being jacked up to over 10 times their original price, meaning a $440 closing ceremonies ticket could now go for nearly $4,400. The Australian reported that some $750 opening ceremony tickets sold for up to $38,000.
Olympics officials have put in place measures to prevent scalping, such as limiting the number of tickets individuals can buy, but buyers meeting online through auction sites have rendered it almost impossible to arrest or charge those selling the tickets.
Last week Chinese officials cracked down on suspected "yellow bulls," arresting some 60 scalpers, 44 of whom will face criminal charges or time in jail.
Still, one Shanghai man selling a closing ceremonies ticket for nearly 12 times its retail price told Reuters, "I don't think I need to worry about the police. I haven't read the specific rules, but it's not big money, just a single ticket. They are more interested in the professional sellers."