From righteous upstart to luxury item where the Chinese want to show off their ‘Apple Identity’. Christina Larson from Foreig Policy magazine reveals some interesting statistics in this revealing article.
‘…Today an iPhone 4 16GB sells for 5,000 yuan, or about $775. Of course, that’s still an extraordinary sum in China. By comparison, a simple Lenovo or Nokia phone typically runs less than $100 in China. This in a country where the per capita income in 2010 was just $4,260, according to the World Bank. An iPhone, let alone an iPad or MacBook, is no casual purchase.’
Also of particular note – are the allusions to the sacrifices fellow migrant worker Chinese have to make to produce these goods for more affluent Chinese, and reported many times, at the expense of health and life.
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Red, Delicious, and Rotten
How Apple conquered China and learned to think like the Communist Party.
BY CHRISTINA LARSON
Source – Foreign Policy, AUGUST 1, 2011
- Photo – Foreign Policy Magazine Online
A friend in Beijing recently told me a story about the time a China Telecom technician came over to install the Internet connection for her Apple laptop. The man, an experienced worker, puzzled over the slim, silver device. He picked it up gingerly, holding it away from his body as one might inspect a suspicious package. After a few minutes, he set to work, but then grew frustrated when he couldn’t find the familiar pull-down menus to configure the connection.
That was just three years ago. Today, it’s highly unlikely that any Chinese technician would be similarly flummoxed. Since the first Apple Store opened in Beijing on July 19, 2008, the company has made astonishingly rapid inroads into the Chinese public’s pocketbooks and imagination. In any high-end coffee shop like Starbucks or Costa Coffee in central Beijing or Shanghai, the ratio of Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.) to non-Apple devices is often more than 1-to-1.
Apple now has four flagship stores in China — two in Beijing, two in Shanghai — and plans to open an additional store in Shanghai and its first Hong Kong location within a year. There are also hundreds of licensed Apple resellers in major Chinese cities, as well as many more unlicensed venders (including the elaborate fake “Apple Store” in Kunming unmasked two weeks ago by an American blogger). And these stores are packed with customers: As the company’s chief operating officer, Timothy Cook, revealed on a recent earnings call with reporters, “Our four stores in China [are], on average, our highest traffic and our highest revenue stores in the world.” Each attracts as many as 40,000 people daily (to accommodate crowds, Apple’s stores in China are designed to be much larger than in the United States). From 2010 to 2011, revenue in greater China has ballooned 600 percent, totaling $8.8 billion for the first three quarters of fiscal year 2011. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Domestic Growth, Economics, Foreign Policy Magazine, Foxconn Suicides 2010, Honda Strike in Foshan 2010, Human Rights, Media, Resources, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities