What explains China’s insatiable love affair with Apple?

“What explains this Chinese craze for Apple? Some go so far as to describe Chinese consumers as disciples of an ‘Apple Cult’ and the late Steve Jobs as its leader,” Zoe McKay reports for Forbes. “While this analogy is not very appropriate, it does figuratively highlight the irrationality of Chinese consumer attitudes towards Apple products.”

“pple has consistently managed to create a frenzy in China each time it launches a new product, unmatched elsewhere in the world,” McKay reports. “In fact, many buyers lining up at Apple stores around the world are from China itself—they just couldn’t wait for the new product to be launched later at home.”

“What I see in China is a large group of consumers increasingly indulging in their thirst for and worship of luxury goods. It’s as if they’ve been brainwashed. Chinese consumers have become the world’s most ardent worshipers of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bentley, Cartier and Hermès. They are willing to queue up around the world not only for Apple products but also for these other luxury products. In 2009, for instance, Chinese customers snapped up nearly a third of the luxury goods sold in the United Kingdom and 60 percent of luxury products sold in France,” McKay reports. “As for Apple, a large number of ordinary Chinese consumers obviously consider the iPhone a luxury item although whether a price tag of about 5000 yuan [approx. US$800] is steep enough to be considered a luxury item is debatable.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve been wont to say many times, “Macintosh. Because life is short.” “iPhone” and “iPad” work just as well.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best and not settling for inferior wares. If you don’t deserve the very best, who does?


  1. Same thing happening the US now.

    Why does some intelligent person want to buy an “inexpensive” laptop when you can get Toyota capability & reliability in an Apple for not much more?

    Once you have spent a year or two maintaining, fixing and reinstalling a Windows PC, spending a few hundred dollars more on an Apple looks like a terrific bargain. Time is money.

    Plus I can and do run multiple OSs in both emulation and Boot Camp.

  2. Of course, it seems that we’re treated almost weekly to a report out of China about some Ferrari or Lamborghini being wrapped around a pole or otherwise demolished. A bit of that nouveau riche fever, I guess.

    1. Just read that Chinese police cited 5 Ferrari drivers for racing on atoll road and that 5 had gotten away. Never even seen 2 Ferraris together in the US much less 10. After years of deprivation under the Commies they want to show their wealth. That is one of their few freedoms, until they are chosen to be used as an example of excesses. Indonesians have become the same. Siiliar to the Japanese of 10 to 15 years ago. Korean’s are also very “style” conscious. Samsung does not fit thier desired image. On the other many American’s are prone to buy “knockoffs” at a bargain whether it be faux Gucci or faux iPhone (android). However there is a certain segment willing to recognize true value that Apple products represents in terms of longevity and functionality. I noticed dring a recent trip to Europe that my cab drivers and tour guideswere using iPhones and they were by far the most common smart phones I saw.

  3. “What I see in China is a large group of consumers increasingly indulging in their thirst for and worship of luxury goods. It’s as if they’ve been brainwashed.”

    This is an incredibly hilarious thing for an American to say.

    1. Too true!

      Only Americans are only brainwashed in pedestrian consumerism (i.e., they have no taste- just like Micro$oft- which is why they so obsessively consume so much crap).

      Well, perhaps all peoples of the world will one day learn that it actually costs more to buy cheap (“Penny wise and pound foolish”). Certainly every Apple fanboy does (myself included).

    1. The funny thing is, among Chinese business school students I have met over the past couple of years, they all know Bill Gates and think that he is the greatest businessman ever. Steve Jobs, who’s he?

  4. the Chinese know very well how the Lenovos, Acers, HPs, Dells, Motorolas etc are built..

    as well as Apple since they build them.

    so they buy Apple.
    what does that tell ya?

  5. The chinese language implementation on the mac and iPhone have always been leaps and bounds ahead of MS and android. It’s not like our easy 26 letter alphabet…

  6. The Chinese were restricted for decades by trade practices. Now that their economy is opening up, they are hungry for the good stuff they couldn’t get before.

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