Buying the new iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus in China comes at price — literally, of course, but also figuratively.
Several employers in the country have reportedly warned their workers against buying the new Apple smartphones, with some going as far as threatening termination.
For instance, according to South China Morning Post, the Chongqing Fuling Xinjiuzhou Women’s Hospital in Chongqing issued an official notice ahead of China’s National Day on Oct. 1, banning the latest iPhone 7, warning its staffers that anyone found in possession of the device could be fired.
While the hospital initially claimed the rule aimed to “clamp down on the hospital employees' extravagant lifestyles,” the real reason, apparently, had more to do with patriotism.
The medical facility’s director later explained the new rule was proposed in support of domestic brands, and that it wouldn’t be enforced.
However, another similar notice was issued by a company in Nanyang City, Henan province, last month as per a report by International Business Times.
"The American iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been launched and official prices are between 5,388 to 6,388 yuan [£624 to £740]. As the internal storage capacity increases, the price of the mobile phone also rises accordingly,” stated a memo by the firm's administrative department.
This particular notice was issued to mark the 85th anniversary of the 1931 Japanese invasion of northeastern China — a historic event known as the Mukden incident.
"Today, 18 September, is a day that all Chinese people will never forget. Never forget our national humiliation, make sure to remember your history. Boycotting foreign products needs to start with you.”
Chinese companies enforcing economic nationalism is a little ironic, considering China’s is the world’s largest trading nation that relies heavily on foreign consumption.