Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Knockoff Iphone 6 Shipping in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 20, 2014

The Chinese can only innovate new ways to screw civilized countries.


Pic from awrence_uber_alles/Reddit

Never ones to let things like pesky Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) get in the way of making a buck, some Chinese are selling the Iphone 6, sort of. A Chinese company is shipping knockoffs of the newest Iphone before Cupertino does.

“China has a history of Shanzhai which at once means clever copying,

and flagrant IP theft.

In reality, the Chines see the two forms of piracy in a different light. The former takes no skill and is tantamount to theft while the latter gets to the heart of the Shanzhai or ‘mountain bandit’ culture. This resonates with the one-child cohort which tends to favor nationalist ideals. Their scholastic text books taught them that foreigners had rendered China to the sick man of Asia status for 100 years. Chinese TV does anything but dispel such notions. The impact is that this group seeks to help construct or reconstruct a stronger China while embracing global goods as well.

This demographic is ready to embrace a local brand with global cache, something China lacks. The knockoff Iphone 6 will be a hit, but in the minds of most a cheesy attempt at looking richer or better connected than one is.” Link

Paradoxically, when companies such as Xiaomi knockoff Apple, they are lauded. The reason once again lies in how Shanzhai is viewed. Lei Jun, Xiaomi’s leader, practically has cult idol status. His brazen approach at all things marketing appeals with the one-child demographic. He also represents their best near term chance of creating a positively viewed homegrown Chinese brand.

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