Bina Technology, a Chinese company based in Zhejiang Province, has demanded that its employees cast away their iPhones in the wake of the recent South China Sea ruling.
A photo has leaked onto Chinese social media showing an announcement issued by Zhang Yunlong, the general manager of Bina Technology. The announcement states that the company will compensate each employee up to 2,500 yuan if they replace their iPhone 6 with another brand of smartphone — you only get 1,000 yuan for your iPhone 4 though.
Further down, the company also threatens to fire employees who plan on purchasing the iPhone 7 in the future. Zhang says that these policy changes are being undertaken as an act of “patriotism.”
This is just one example of China’s recent rising wave of nationalism following the installation of the THADD missile defense system in South Korea and the South China Sea ruling in The Hague. Hostility towards the US has been on the rise as many Chinese citizens believe that the Americans are pulling the string behind the said events.
Last week, photos of smashed iPhones went viral on Weibo as some netizens vowed to boycott American goods. Customers on Taobao also started to boycott mangoes imported from the Philippines. In Dalian, a man even went on the attack inside the subway after noticing a fellow commuter sporting a pair of Nike sneakers. Last but not least, protesters across several Chinese cities directed their anti-American sentiments towards KFC.
— Shanghaiist.com (@shanghaiist) July 19, 2016
Some protesters have even taken to the streets:
This fervent Chinese nationalism is being dismissed by the government and Chinese state media. In an article published yesterday, Xinhua called for “rational patriotism” and also claimed that “dumb acts like boycotting KFC are not patriotism.”
Chinese netizens on Weibo, Zhihu and many other online platforms also ridiculed the boycotting movements. One user wrote, “Where did all these people come from? No one that I know of is doing stuff like this,” while others mocked the protesters, “We shouldn’t be boycotting American products. We should be boycotting Chinese dumbasses.”
Some have equipped themselves to do just that.