China’s Communist Party members that don’t want to be seen carrying a tablet made by that capitalist running dog company Apple can now carry a tablet PC made by a Chinese maker. Presenting the RedPad Number One, an Android tablet filled with apps to cater to every bureaucrat’s needs.
Melanie Lee of Reuters:
Enter RedPad Number One, an Android-based tablet computer filled with software applications (apps) catered to a party official’s every need for control. Delivered in a decadent leather case for 9,999 yuan ($1,584 USD), it is twice the price of Apple’s most expensive iPad 2.
The eye-popping price has China’s microblogs alight with chatter over just why this device is so expensive and who is footing the bill.
“Is it the god of toys? Why don’t they throw in a free iPad with it,” said Looperrr on Weibo, Sina Corp’s, microblogging platform.
RedPad Number One spokesman Liu Xianri, in an interview on Wednesday said that sales of the tablet were completely market driven. “We are looking to compete against the foreign brands,” Liu responded when asked if public funds may be used to buy the RedPad.
He said RedPad’s price was high, because of the large number of pre-installed apps that cater to bureaucrats and state-owned company managers. Apps that allow users to check the validity of a journalist’s government accreditation as well as read state-run newspapers and microblogs, for example. There was no word on whether the tablet included Mao’s Little Red Book.
An online survey on Thursday showed that more than 2,000 respondents believed that the RedPad was meant to be a symbol of privilege, while another 1,500 thought its purpose was to gouge taxpayers.
“After reading all the articles about this, I am impressed,” said microblogger Xixizhiniu. “What an honor it is for you, the taxpayer, that you place a 9,999 yuan into the hands of the leaders!”
To paraphrase George Orwell’s classic, Animal Farm: “All citizens are equal, but some citizens are more equal than others. And look, they gave me this sweet Tablet PC!”