The new iPad may not be new to you, but here in China the official version (of course, there have been gray-market imports available for months) has been on sale for less than a day. Historically speaking, Apple product launches here are a bit of a mess; during the last major launch they even had to shut down one of Beijing's Apple Stores after a fight broke out. Today's launch was much calmer thanks in part to a pre-launch registration system that meant waiting in lines and fighting for spaces overnight wasn't going to make anyone more likely to actually get their hands on the shiny new device today. As you can see from these photos, the scene today looks nothing like what we've seen at previous Apple releases. It looks crowded inside the store, but it's always crowded inside the store. The huge lines outside are gone. It's worth asking how much of this is Apple's pre-registration system and how much is just a lack of interest in the product itself. I expect the new iPad to sell well in China -- they always do -- but it's worth noting that the device's release is not a trending topic on Sina Weibo, which is a bit unusual for an Apple release. Nor does the new iPad rank as one of Baidu's top searches now or anytime over the past seven days. Usually the online buzz around an Apple mobile product launch is almost deafening, so now, the silence is quite noticeable. Adding insult to injury, news about Windows 8's August launch date is trending on Sina Weibo right now instead. But whether the lack of buzz is a result of reduced interest or a result of Apple's muted hype machine attempting to avoid more violence is hard to say. We'll have to wait for the sales numbers, I suppose, but for now at least we know that no one got hurt. For Apple product launches in China, that's a pretty good way to start. UPDATE: Later in the day, the new iPad did begin trending on Sina Weibo.