Planet China

Poor coverage

Hardly a week passes in China without the iPhone making news. Last week it grabbed headlines on at least two occasions. The first came as state broadcaster CCTV launched yet another scathing attack on Apple, this time claiming that its location-tracking function made it a “national security concern”. Raising the spectre of Edward Snowden, CCTV claimed that the iPhone could be used by the US government to access data on China’s economic situation or “even state secrets”. (Apple responded that it doesn’t track users or share their locations with outsiders.)

The second mention of Apple’s products was a bit more tangential. In a likely first, comparisons were drawn between the iPhone and manhole covers. This occurred after three people fell through holes in the pavement in the city of Nanjing. According to the Global Times, the victims plunged through plastic manholes just 7mm thick, which gave way when they were stepped on. Critics were soon marvelling that these covers were thinner than an iPhone (the 5s is 7.6mm thick). The local administration in Qixia district then replaced the flimsy covers with “regular” ones and claimed it was investigating how the thinner variety had been installed.

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