‘Golden’ smartphone evokes sharp criticism in China

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Beijing | Updated: May 17, 2017 2:27:29 PM

A gaudy Forbidden City-themed luxury smartphone that comes with an 18-carat gold dragon decoration and a screen made from sapphire glass has evoked criticism from Chinese social media users.

Smartphones, golden smartphones, Titanium Palace Edition, Global Times, Palace MuseumA gaudy Forbidden City-themed luxury smartphone that comes with an 18-carat gold dragon decoration and a screen made from sapphire glass has evoked criticism from Chinese social media users. (Reuters- representative image)

A gaudy Forbidden City-themed luxury smartphone that comes with an 18-carat gold dragon decoration and a screen made from sapphire glass has evoked criticism from Chinese social media users.

According to the Global Times, the “Titanium Palace Edition” smartphone is expected to be released in January and is priced at 19,999 yuan ($2,880).

Designed in partnership with the Palace Museum, the gem-laden smartphone comes in a limited run of 999 devices.

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“Phone makers ‘8488’ partnered with the Palace Museum to create the limited-edition device inspired by the museum’s imperial collections,” the report quoted a company post on Sina Weibo platform as saying.

Sina Weibo users called the phone “ostentatious” and a “stain on the sacredness of the imperial city”.

Responding to criticism, the Palace Museum tried to distance itself from the product or its manufacturing.

However, earlier this year, Wang Yamin, Vice President of the Palace Museum was quoted by media as saying: “We hope this cooperation will help the Forbidden City enter the tech industry.”

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