An entrepreneurial Chinese outfit has taken shanzhai to new heights: an Android tablet that’s being marketed as the “Steve Jobs” commemorative edition (纪念版). The audacity of shanzhai knows no bounds.
Living in China and reporting on gadgets, we get to see our fair share of unofficial merchandise from Chinese manufacturers. These ‘knock-offs’ can range from fake iPad 2 smart covers, to complete replicas of iPhones of even Macbooks!
Sometimes though a Chinese made gadget crops up which combines the ancient Chinese art of the knock off with a complete lack of consideration for the law and copyright infringements, and this ‘Commemorative’ Steve Jobs Android tablet is a perfect example!
I’m guessing Steve Jobs would be more irate than honored. Tudou CEO Gary Wang faced a cold reception when he met with Jobs, who told him, “Stealing is stealing!” This shanzhai tribute also bears echoes of what Wang says should have been his response at the time, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
A more tasteful Chinese tribute is B2C e-commerce VANCL’s massive campaign. As I look out my window at night here in Beijing Zhongguancun, there’s a glowing billboard with Steve Jobs’ image. It has little to do with VANCL’s core apparel business, but everything to do with the man who captured the imagination of so many worldwide.
Image Source: New Yorker Cover, October 17
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