For one company, Apple’s iPhone 7 is going to the dogs — not literally, but figuratively.
On September 18th, a company in central China’s Henan province announced a new policy banning employees from buying an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 7 Plus.
According to this policy, if employees buy or use the newest Apple iPhone, they will be forced to resign. The company hopes that in following this policy, employees will care more for their parents’ health, children’s growth, and life’s pleasures. The policy ultimately encourages employees to buy domestic products and support China.
The policy’s release date — September 18th — was intentional. September 18, 2016 was the 85th anniversary of the Mukden or Manchurian Incident, also known in Chinese as “Jiu Yiba Shibian” (九一八事变), when a staged explosion in the Manchurian city of Mukden (Shenyang) provided Japan with pretext for its invasion of northeast China in 1931. The incident still carries bad memories for Chinese people today: on that day, memorial services are held across the country.
Earlier this week, the company’s iPhone 7 ban went viral on Weibo. People’s Daily reported that the controversial policy was the 7th most popular topic as of 10 a.m. on September 21st. Response to the policy was mixed. One user supported the company’s ban, noting the tracking feature of iPhones and urging others to support made-in-China products. The user’s comment received 137 likes. Another user did not agree with the company’s policy, writing that “resisting idiots is more important than resisting foreign goods.” The comment received 693 likes.
However, the company’s policy is in line with Apple’s previous troubles in China. Just this past year, Bina Technology, a Chinese company based in Zhejiang province, ordered its employees to cast aside their iPhones in solidarity against the South China Sea ruling. Later in July, thousands of Chinese “patriots” protested outside of a fake Apple store in Jiangsu province.
The Henan-based company’s policy perhaps illustrates the national indifference with the iPhone 7. Last week, Reuters reported on this national apathy toward the new phone — that doesn’t seem to be doing much to slow smugglers.
On the bright side, perhaps the company’s policy will encourage others to care for their family, enjoy life, and play on their non-iPhone 7s together.
By Abby Ordillas
[Images via China Daily]