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Apple Drops iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED Branding in China

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Yesterday, Apple announced a special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, to go with its current (PRODUCT)RED line-up that Apple promotes as a way for customers to support HIV/AIDS charity (RED).

The red handset, which launches on Friday, is the first time Apple has included its flagship phone in the promotional line-up, but the PRODUCT(RED) iPhone branding does not apply across all regions.

Apple's Taiwan website

As noted by TechCrunch, internet users have spotted that the (PRODUCT)RED branding is missing on the regional China website, but all other details including launch date and time remain identical, indicating that Apple is promoting the red iPhone in the country simply as an additional colorway.

Apple's China website

Sex remains a controversial issue in China, where traditional values frequently clash with more liberal Western attitudes as the country's economic boom increasingly opens it to outside influence. In the past, AIDS and HIV have been characterized in China as a consequence of contact with the West, but recent legislation has been more progressive and a lot more successful in treating the AIDS/HIV problem in the country.

Despite the gradual change in attitudes, it's likely Apple took the decision to drop the (PRODUCT)RED affiliation in order to avoid possible tension with the Chinese government, following recent incidents in which the company has fallen foul of China's restrictive internet policies.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Drops iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED Branding in China
 

cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
6,857
2,563
United Kingdom
This is a bit of a shame - considering the cultural significance of red in China, it almost the Product Red branding was tacked on as an excuse for creating one. May be a bit extreme, but I can't help being cynical.

If you go on the Store page on the Chinese site, the photo of the phone is the reverse of most other online stores - the front of the phone is most prominent, presumably to hide the Product Red branding on the reverse of the phone...
 

Cineplex

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2016
743
2,012
Tim!?!? Where is your super progressive stance now? Oh that's right...can't risk upsetting the Chinese buyers by admitting AIDS exists! I'm sure their government has told them AIDS isn't real just like LGBT isn't real. Funny how Tim can drop his values at the drop of the hat for some money. I could respect the guy if he held to his guns, but no. I bet if you asked Tim about Tianamen Square while he was in China he'd echo the governments opinion of it being western propaganda made on a Hollywood set. Sad when Apple is afraid and unwilling to help people because it might affect sales. Boooooo!
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,937
1,669
I guess taking moral standpoints on certain issues only goes so far when it stands to affect your sales..
Tim!?!? Where is your super progressive stance now? Oh that's right...can't risk upsetting the Chinese buyers by admitting AIDS exists! I'm sure their government has told them AIDS isn't real just like LGBT isn't real. Funny how Tim can drop his values at the drop of the hat for some money. I could respect the guy if he held to his guns, but no. I bet if you asked Tim about Tianamen Square while he was in China he'd echo the governments opinion of it being western propaganda made on a Hollywood set. Sad when Apple is afraid and unwilling to help people because it might affect sales. Boooooo!
I wonder if Apple is still making the donation to the charity on all sales of the RED device, regardless of branding.

Product red has been promoted on Apple's Chinese website before via the Red iPods and accessories and such, but it's now against the law in China for a foreign NGO to promote their cause via a profit-earning organization. If Apple wants to sell the red color in mainland China, they simply can't include the charitable donation as a part of their product.
 

H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,630
2,932
Pittsburgh PA
Product red has been promoted on Apple's Chinese website before via the Red iPods and accessories and such, but it's now against the law in China for a foreign NGO to promote their cause via a profit-earning organization. If Apple wants to sell the red color in mainland China, they simply can't include the charitable donation as a part of their product.

(For clarification, I read your statement as Apple isn't allowed to donate on the Chinese Red iPhone sales.)

Then Apple shouldn't be selling the Red iPhones in China. It's that simple. It's exactly the same as all of those insipid pink ribbon magnets you see. Sure, maybe 10% were actually bought from a breast cancer charity, but the majority were bought at dollar stores and not a single cent was given to research.
 
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satchmo

macrumors 68030
Aug 6, 2008
2,960
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Canada
Product red has been promoted on Apple's Chinese website before via the Red iPods and accessories and such, but it's now against the law in China for a foreign NGO to promote their cause via a profit-earning organization. If Apple wants to sell the red color in mainland China, they simply can't include the charitable donation as a part of their product.

If this is the case, why sell this at all in China?

Are proceeds of sales in China of this red iPhone still going to Project Red if it's not even branded as such?

Proceeds aside, awareness and education is also part of the equation.
 

BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,598
482
Product red has been promoted on Apple's Chinese website before via the Red iPods and accessories and such, but it's now against the law in China for a foreign NGO to promote their cause via a profit-earning organization. If Apple wants to sell the red color in mainland China, they simply can't include the charitable donation as a part of their product.

I can understand that Apple can't advertise in China that they are giving the money to charity. But I can't believe the law would prevent Apple from just quietly making an extra donation to the (PRODUCT)RED charity based on how many red iPhones they sell.
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
1,937
1,669
(For clarification, I read your statement as Apple isn't allowed to donate on the Chinese Red iPhone sales.)

Then Apple shouldn't be selling the Red iPhones in China. It's that simple. It's exactly the same as all of those insipid pink ribbon magnets you see. Sure, maybe 10% were actually bought from a breast cancer charity, but the majority were bought at dollar stores and not a single cent was given to research.

I don't see how they are the same thing. The pink ribbons example is giving a perception of helping to fund research while being sold by a company that doesn't donate. The red iPhone in china is simply an red iPhone. There are no mention of any donations or HIV awareness on the phone itself or website nor is it pretending to be associated with a good cause for Chinese customers.

If this is the case, why sell this at all in China?

Because profits. Red is a popular color anywhere in the world but especially in east Asia. Apple would be selling red products sooner or later even if there was no red campaign to begin with.
 

rtomyj

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2012
805
716
I wonder if the insightful people of macrumors will understand that China isn't America. That some nations are more reserved and don't openly talk about some things. That an American company doesn't ave much pull in foreign politics. That one company isn't run by one man and his morals.

I guess taking moral standpoints on certain issues only goes so far when it stands to affect your sales..

Changing your moral policies based on the almighty dollar is American as apple pie and baseball.

Tim!?!? Where is your super progressive stance now? Oh that's right...can't risk upsetting the Chinese buyers by admitting AIDS exists! I'm sure their government has told them AIDS isn't real just like LGBT isn't real. Funny how Tim can drop his values at the drop of the hat for some money. I could respect the guy if he held to his guns, but no. I bet if you asked Tim about Tianamen Square while he was in China he'd echo the governments opinion of it being western propaganda made on a Hollywood set. Sad when Apple is afraid and unwilling to help people because it might affect sales. Boooooo!

Orrr we can have ignorance. Yay!
 

H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,630
2,932
Pittsburgh PA
I don't see how they are the same thing. The pink ribbons example is giving a perception of helping to fund research while being sold by a company that doesn't donate. The red iPhone in china is simply an red iPhone. There are no mention of any donations or HIV awareness on the phone itself or website nor is it pretending to be associated with a good cause for Chinese customers.

You answered your own question, thought the minutia is that Apple does donate, just not in China.
 

Internet Enzyme

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2016
893
1,431
Apple is treating Taiwan as if its a separate country than Taiwan, I thought this was a controversial issue for the Chinese?
 

jennyp

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
479
69
Tim is certainly following Steve's advice "not to do what Steve might have done"
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2006
1,811
2,014
Tokyo, Japan
Product red has been promoted on Apple's Chinese website before via the Red iPods and accessories and such, but it's now against the law in China for a foreign NGO to promote their cause via a profit-earning organization. If Apple wants to sell the red color in mainland China, they simply can't include the charitable donation as a part of their product.

Where are those clever tax-avoidance lawyers when you need them eh? Surely they would be able to pick their way around such obstacles. ;)
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,743
4,925
Vancouver, BC
I wonder if the insightful people of macrumors will understand that China isn't America. That some nations are more reserved and don't openly talk about some things. That an American company doesn't ave much pull in foreign politics. That one company isn't run by one man and his morals.

It's a double-standard.

To promote a product as supporting a very important cause in one market, and then sell that very same product for pure profit in another market doesn't stand well with common sense and logic. It's a slap in the face to the whole (PRODUCT) RED effort.
 

slimothy

Suspended
May 31, 2011
326
795
USA
Wow. What a *****. In case you haven't realized it yet, the only reason they go on their "SJW" sprees promoting gay stuff and AIDS stuff is to get idiot Americans to buy into it and think they're helping a "cause". It's all marketing. Maybe now people will realize it. When it jeopardizes their profits (case in point -> China) they don't want to push the AIDS stuff. Surprised? You probably are. I'm not.
 
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