Connect with us

China Digital

Did Apple Lose Momentum in China? iPhone 7 Hits Chinese Market, Netizens Not Too Crazy About It

iPhone 7 has been launched in China on Friday, but this time, people are not going crazy over its release. Many Chinese netizens say they would rather buy “made-in-China” smartphones.

Published

on

iPhone 7 has been launched in China on Friday, but this time, people are not going crazy over its release. Many Chinese netizens say they would rather buy “made-in-China” smartphones. According to Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting, Apple has become ‘outdated’ in China.

The crazy long queues in front of the Sanlitun Apple flagship store in Beijing upon every launch of a new iPhone have almost become ‘normal’. In 2012, Apple even canceled the launch of the iPhone 4S after scalpers broke out into a fight.

But this year has been quite different. On September 16, the iPhone 7 went on sale in China and 27 other countries. According to The Telegraph, some people already started queuing up in front of various international Apple Stores days ago. In Beijing, however, Apple fans seemed less enthusiastic.

Chinese media described the iPhone 7 China launch as “not too crazy” (“不太疯”), with “calm” scenes in front of the Apple store. The earliest queuers did not arrive before 5 in the morning.

On Weibo, some netizens pointed out that queuing up would be useless anyway because most buyers already pre-ordered their iPhone 7. But the tempered reception of the iPhone 7 relates to more than the pre-ordering process, as experts say Apple is ‘outdated’ and losing momentum.

Although it is disputable whether or not online reactions affect the actual purchasing behaviour of Chinese consumers, it does affect its brand perception – which undoubtedly will affect the brand’s growth in China in the long run.

Looking at the reactions from Chinese netizens, Apple’s alleged declining popularity has multiple causes that relate to its price, strong domestic competition, lack of innovation, and nationalistic sentiments.

Overall, social media responses to the release of iPhone 7 in China were subdued and not very enthusiastic.

 

Not Willing to Pay the Price

“It’s better to buy 7 apples instead, better for your health, too.”

On the day of the iPhone 7 release in China, quite some netizens posted pictures holding the iPhone 7 – some with a purchased model, but mostly were pictures of the models in the store.

87fca24dgw1f7vgucinx2j20k00zkt9o

According to one Weibo user from Guangdong, the lines at the local Apple stores were rather long, but many people seemed to line up only to see the iPhone 7 and “play with it” rather than actually purchasing it. For many, the iPhone is simply too expensive.

733eebb9gw1f7vebonpkxj20qo0zkaf0People queuing up at the Apple Store in Guangdong.

Official Apple prices of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in China respectively are RMB 5388 (±807 US$) and RMB 6388 (±957 US$). But several Chinese media reported on Friday that scalpers often make good money from reselling iPhones, some priced up to RMB 1000 (150 US$) more than the retail price.

A 20-year-old netizen said: “I really don’t understand what people want to prove by buying an iPhone 7. Do they want to flaunt their money?”

There are more netizens resisting buying the smartphone simply because it is Apple. “Chinese people usually like to buy things if they’re expensive,” one Weibo user remarks: “And Apple knows this weak spot.”

“People have money, people are stupid,” another Weibo user explains.

Under the hashtag “Why I Am Not Buying An iPhone 7” (#我为什么不买iphone7#), Chinese netizens discussed their aversion to buying the new smartphone.

For many netizens, money is the main issue. “Why I don’t buy an iPhone? Well, for the same reason why I don’t buy a villa. Or an airplane. I don’t have the money.”

Other Weibo users also said: “I’m poor.”

“The price is unreasonable,” one person remarked: “It’s better to buy 7 apples instead, better for your health, too!”

“Why I don’t buy an iPhone? Because I like Vivo more!”, another netizen says, pointing out the strong competition iPhone has from Chinese smartphones.

 

Strong Domestic Brands & Chinese Nationalism

“I’d rather buy the made-in-China Huawei. I can’t forgive America and Japan for how they’ve hurt China with the South China Sea trial.”

Many Chinese netizens say they now prefer Chinese brands over Apple. Made-in-China smartphone brands Huawei (华为), Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi (小米) are all tough competition for Apple, especially because of their quality/price ratio.

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 is priced at RMB 899 (±$135), almost six times cheaper than the iPhone 7.

xiaomi-redmi-note-4-phone-9

But there are also other reasons that contribute to people choosing Chinese brands over foreign ones. One social media comment said: “I’d rather buy the made-in-China Huawei. I can’t forgive America and Japan for how they’ve hurt China with the South China Sea trial.”

The South China Sea verdict came out on July 12, stating that China had no legal rights over reefs and islands that are also claimed by others. The case was brought to the international tribunal in the Hague by the Philippiness, sparking anger in China. While Japan and the USA are stepping up their activity in the contested South China Sea, many netizens feel attacked and see the refusal to buy Apple product as a political choice.

Many other netizens also expressed that they would rather “support China” by buying made-in-China smartphones.

 

Lack of Innovation

“Apple’s innovation has become extremely low.”

Chinese entrepreneur and CEO of LeEco (formerly: LeTV) Jia Yueting spoke to CNBC earlier this year, and said he thought Apple is ‘outdated’. He also said that one of the main reasons for Apple’s declining popularity in China is that its “innovation has become extremely slow.” He said: “For example, a month ago Apple launched the iPhone SE. From an insiders’ perspective, this is a product with a very low level of technology.”

7677825fjw1f7v30e2ow3j20zk0qo48g

Other online analysts also predict that “Apple’s bubble is about to break.” Consumers have become more tech-savvy and have high expectations of the products and gadgets they buy: “Apple is still good compared to earlier Android phones in terms of ability. But iOs is not that good anymore. The use of Huawei is much more efficient now,” one netizen writes.

7677825fjw1f7v30alkfpj20zk0qoqay

For Apple, the subdued reactions on Chinese social media do not seem to affect its international sales. Initial quantities of the iPhone 7 Plus have already sold out globally, the company said Wednesday. This means that many customers who visited Apple Stores on Friday were not even able to purchase the sold-out phones. They can, however, still continue to place orders, Apple stated. On Weibo, however, many netizens seem to have lost their interest in getting their hands on the latest iPhone.

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

China Comic & Games

China’s Latest Online Viral Game Makes You Clap for Xi Jinping

Smart propaganda – now clapping for Xi Jinping has become a competition.

Published

on

In a new online game that has come out during the 19th National Congress in Beijing, Chinese netizens can compete in applauding for Xi Jinping. The game has become an online hit.

The major 19th CPC National Congress started on Wednesday in Beijing with a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping that took nearly 3,5 hours.

The speech, that focused on China’s future and its rise in the world today, was repeatedly paused for the appropriate applause from the party members in the audience.

With the introduction of a new game by Tencent, people can now also clap along to Xi Jinping’s speech from their own living room. The game became an online hit on October 18. It was already played over 400 million times by 9 pm Beijing time.

The mobile game can be opened through a link that takes you to a short segment of the lengthy speech by Xi Jinping. In the short segment, President Xi mentions that it is the mission of the Communist Party of China to strive for the happiness and the rise of the Chinese people.

The app then allows you “clap” for Xi by tapping the screen of your phone as many times as you can within a time frame of 18 seconds. After completing, you can invite your friends to play along and compete with them.

The game has become especially popular on WeChat, where some users boast that they have scored a ‘clap rate’ of 1695.

If you’re up to it, you can try to clap as much as you can for Xi Jinping here (mobile only).
(Update Friday, October 20: the game link now redirects to the Tencent News site themed around the 19th Party Congress through desktop. On mobile, the game still works, and has been played over 1,2 billion times.)

With a score of 1818 you’re better than 99% of all players.

By Manya Koetse and Diandian Guo

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Continue Reading

China Digital

This Digital Device Now Helps Chinese Police Catch Traffic Violators

After RoboCop, here’s Guardrail Drone: this high-tech device makes it easier and safer for Chinese police to catch traffic violators.

Published

on

A new digital device makes it easier and safer for Chinese police to catch traffic violators. A local experiment with the police gadget proved successful earlier this year.

From now on, it might no longer be the police that warns drivers to drive slowly through construction zones or to get off the emergency lane. A new digital device can now help Chinese traffic police to send out warnings or to catch people violating traffic rules.

The automated device can be placed on the guardrail and is directly connected to the smartphone of the police officer controlling it. Through the camera on the device, the police can see when someone is driving on the emergency lane and can send out police warning signs and sounds through the speakers on the device.

On Chinese social media, a video on how the device works has been making its rounds over the past few days. Some netizens say the new device is just “awesome,” and others warn drivers not to use the traffic lane; the chances of getting caught are now bigger because of the police’s new helper.

The device was first successfully tested locally in May of this year at a Zhejiang Expressway, NetEase’s Huang Weicheng (黄唯诚) reported in July of this year.

Earlier in 2017, police also experimented with a new police robot, jokingly called ‘Robocop’ by netizens, to help police catching fugitives and answer questions from people at the train station.

In our latest Weivlog we will tell you all about this ‘guardrail drone’; how it works and where it has been implemented:

By Manya Koetse

NB: Please attribute What’s on Weibo when quoting from this article.
Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Follow on Twitter

Advertisement

Contribute

Got any tips? Or want to become a contributor? Email us as at info@whatsonweibo.com.
Advertisement