Bloomberg Business: U.S. Marshals Raid Hoverboard Booth at CES, by Joshua Brustein
This post originally appeared in Bloomberg Business on January 7, 2016.
On Thursday afternoon, two U.S. federal marshals showed up at the Consumer Electronics Show to conduct a raid. As a crowd gathered, the marshals packed up a one-wheeled skateboard on display at a Chinese company’s booth, as well as a sign and fliers promoting the product, and carried them away. It quickly became clear this wasn’t the usual CES publicity stunt. Staffers for the company, Changzhou First International Trade Co., were stunned.
Until that moment, Changzhou First International Trade was having a successful day. It wasn’t the only discount electronic skateboard dealer around, but passersby seemed taken by the design of its product, the Trotter. Instead of a board with a wheel on either end, like the popular hoverboards seen around the show, the Trotter looks like a seesaw with one big wheel in the middle. One man with a microphone and a camera stopped to take some footage; another quizzed employees about how fast the thing could go. The booth’s staff had trouble answering even basic questions in English, but they did their best.