Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category


……are a joke


In June 2008, Steve Jobs deemed Russian and Chinese markets “two big ones” that Apple was working on.

Today, China Unicom, the only licensed company to sell iPhone in China, is embarrassed.

Unicom stepped into negotiations in September of last year when Apple’s dealings China Mobile broke down. They opened an online iPhone store just over two weeks ago on Taobao.com, which is China’s version of eBay.

In these first weeks, the e-store sold five iPhones—two 8GB and three 16GB iPhones. Total sales in this period of 5,000 units failed to meet expectations. This paled in comparison to the 60,000 online orders KT, the South Korean distributer, received prior to their launch more than a week ago.

Without G3 service, a 32GB iPhone in China costs 6,999 元, or $1,024 US. This is about $200 more expensive that those sold in Hong Kong. Aside from these elevated prices, credit cards are not very common in China, especially among the younger age group more likely to purchase iPhones. An online store may not be the best mechanism to push expensive phones. Fake iPhones (seen in this video) are also hurting sales. Reports praise their functionality and their prices range from $60 to $170 US.

Last month, Apple’s iPhone sales were projected to reach 50 million by 2011. Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi thought China Unicom would contribute 2.9 million units to this total. It may be too soon to tell, but this statistic seems slightly inflated.


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Chairman Obama


Barack Obama’s celebrity expanded into several new markets since his election. “ObaMao” or “Maobama” t-shirts hit stands in China last year, but disappeared prior to President Obama’s visit to Asia. With an interest in Chairman Mao combines and an appreciation for President Obama’s intentions, I felt compelled to buy one of these shirts. Initially, the designs seemed comical. They are satirical. Outside of national popularity, these two leaders share no similarities.

Perceptions of the “ObaMao” clothing line differ across countries. A variety of shirts (Shirt #1, Shirt #2, Shirt #3) are advertised on the Internet as “Buy Anti Obama Funny Obamao” shirts. In China, Chairman Mao survives as a positive icon. Comparing him with Obama thus appears complimentary.

The image to the right reads, “为人民服务,” meaning “Serving the people.” This famous Mao Zedong quote does not reference Communism, and actually aligns with the U.S. ideal of a President for the people.

Right before President Obama’s visit to China, Liu Mingjie, who designed and marketed these ObaMao images, was abruptly out of stock. Mr. Liu declined to comment. Nearby stores with president Obama action figures in a superman uniform continued business as usual.

Evaluations of Mao in the U.S. remain a bit more mixed. While President Obama visited China, these shirts were allegedly taken off the market only to not offend his administration. The U.S. market for this clothing is likely comprised of the uninformed population that likens President Obama’s initiatives to Communism. This association is not flattering. Unfortunately, to ensure that I do not appear supportive of this stance, my wish list for this holiday season will not include these shirts.

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Political Rock Band?


Mao Zedong Rock Band

Maybe not yet.

The local government scolded a karaoke bar in Taizhou Zhejiang Province for an ad with Mao Zedong holding a microphone. Traditional political songs like “Ode to the Motherland” played under the advertisement. The effort did, however, quite successfully attract crowds. A political version of Rock Band might expand their consumer base.

English Article


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