Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold [Bloomberg] #RisingChina #Apple #Gold

Apple taps into Chinese mind – mixing their perception of gold with cyclical obsolescence of the mobile phone.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores. Leonid Bershidsky, 2013

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China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold
By Leonid Bershidsky
Source – Bloomberg, published Sep 25, 2013

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

I have two words for those who still think Apple’s marketing genius died with Steve Jobs: China and gold.

In preparing the debut of its two new iPhone models, the 5s and 5c, Apple made the crucial decision to include China in the product launch, and to offer a gold-colored high-end phone. Voila, a sales record: 9 million iPhones sold in the opening weekend, up from 5 million for the original iPhone 5.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores.

Gold is a well-used marketing tool in the world of mobile devices. “Dumb” phone manufacturers have used the hue, especially in Asian markets and Russia, ever since color handsets came into existence in the early 2000s. Nokia made fun of the gold iPhone 5s, tweeting from its UK corporate account, “Real gangsters don’t use gold phones.” The Finnish company itself, however, has produced a number of gold-colored models, including one that used genuine 18K gold plate.

Please click here to read the entire article at Bloomberg online.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advertising, Apple, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, History, Influence, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Huawei a victim of its success [China Daily] #RisingChina #Trade #Huawei

What the Chinese are reading: Huawei a victim of its success

China’s symbols used to be the Great Wall and panda bears. But now, a most atypical corporation has found itself, much against its will, become a national symbol attracting trade war bullets from the outside world. China Daily, May 25, 2013

Emotive headline bias is a recurring theme in state media when expressing top-down thoughts on international relations.

That aside, it is with much doubt this leading exemplar of the China Dream – the world’s biggest telecomms equipment maker, will get deflated so easily. 140,000 employees that’s no small number. Especially not so when its wellbeing in its foreign ‘incursions’ resonates so strongly within its military and wider populace. Intelligence gathering is important for any country concerned for its well-being today. It is the information age after all. Denying it happens at some level or another paints some sort of TV series chock full of propaganda.

In a sense, fledgling Beijing Consensus reaches its first international semiotic stumbling block with this one. Another way to look at it – Brand China in the global marketplace and the idea of the Chinese century hits a first real challenge  as a result. However, the resulting connotative binary might become a useful part of the Chinese public diplomacy toolbox. It is questionable if Huawei would ascend the semiotic consensus of the Great Wall and panda bears but for now – the Chinese finally have a powerful symbol that could be nationalised. It’s not like they’ve not had powerful symbols before, but this is one for rising China charging ahead to rebuild its place in the world. Perhaps the solution could be an equally atypical one to others, but unsurprising to the Chinese – back it from the top all the way, give it a mandate and galvanize the numbers.

Just as negatively as China’s trade subsidies of its foreign trade feelers are perceived by some – the state is simply doing what is a quintessentially Chinese thing –   a strategy with a view for the long run. In any case, we are in a time of the global village, foreign trade is necessary for the lifeblood of that system to flow. Why stop the cross-pollination?

In 2010, the company announced 182.5 billion yuan in total revenue, of which around 120 billion yuan was from overseas.

In 2011, as its revenue rose to 203.9 billion yuan, 138 billion yuan was from overseas.  China Daily, May 25, 2013

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Huawei a victim of its success
By Li Jiabao and Shen Jingting
Source – China Daily, published May 25, 2013

The booth of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd at the 8th China (Nanjing) International Software Product & Information Service Expo in Jiangsu province on Sept 6. Huawei, as a privately held but highly globalized company, has generated most of its sales from the world market. [Photo / China Daily]

The booth of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd at the 8th China (Nanjing) International Software Product & Information Service Expo in Jiangsu province on Sept 6. Huawei, as a privately held but highly globalized company, has generated most of its sales from the world market. [Photo / China Daily]

Tech firm targeted in trade probes due to its high overseas profile

China’s symbols used to be the Great Wall and panda bears. But now, a most atypical corporation has found itself, much against its will, become a national symbol attracting trade war bullets from the outside world.

It is Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the Chinese information and communications technology solution provider.

Huawei was one of the earliest Chinese companies to seek globalization and has depended on markets outside the Chinese mainland for the larger part of its business revenue – more than 60 percent in recent years.

But precisely because it is more active and more well known abroad, it has often become the focus of other countries’ trade remedy measures against China. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, military, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

People’s Daily criticizes Apple for double-standard warranties [Global Times] #China #Apple

Advertising misdirection under scrutiny? Misunderstanding? Or reverse-protectionism – new Chinese leadership style?

At the end of the day, the Chinese Apple users simply feel they are getting the short end of the deal. Above all, it can be hard to shake away the fact they are essentially buying a foreign-branded home-made product.

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People’s Daily criticizes Apple for double-standard warranties
Source – Global Times, published March 28, 2013

Editor’s Note
The world’s most popular cell phone producer, Apple Inc. has come to public attention again as the People’s Daily published consecutive opinion articles for four days since March 25, criticizing its double-standard warranties. China Central Television reported the company has adopted differential policies for guarantees and after-sale services in China on March 15, or the International Day for Protecting Consumers’ Rights.

Latest News
Apple shrugs off China policy bash
Apple Inc said on March 23 that while its after-sale services in China are somewhat different from those in other countries, they comply with Chinese laws, the company’s response to domestic media reports saying that Apple is treating Chinese consumers unfairly. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advertising, Apple, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

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