While it’s customary for Chinese families to burn spirit money as offerings to deceased loved ones on Tomb Sweeping Day, some the more tech-conscious customers are scooping up fake iPhones, WIFI routers and other such gadgets for the family members to utilize after death.
According to the Global Times:
More than 200 shops sell ready-to-burn gadgets on Taobao, China’s most popular online shopping Website. The sales data of one shop named “Fopinge” list paper Apple gadgets as its most recent hit item, with 212 items sold in the past 30 days. The paper phone at this shop costs only 3.6 yuan (US$ 0.57).
The imitation gadgets are made from paper or plastic, some even bearing iron nuggets to add more weight — so they feel more like the real deal. Prices range from 2 to 30 yuan.
One consumer wrote in their review of an imitation product, “He [the deceased] did not live to see these fine things, now I will burn some for him to enjoy and to express my love.”
Last year another trend surfaced around the Qingming Festival allowing smartphone users to scan QR codes on gravestones to access information about the dearly departed. Along with the ability to now hire people on Taobao to mourn your own ancestors, this ain’t your great-great-great-grandma’s Tomb Sweeping Day.