A Chinese company reportedly demanded its employees to give up all of their iPhones as an act of “patriotism” in the wake of United Nations Tribunal’s South China Sea arbitration ruling in the Hague last week.
A leaked announcement from Zhejiang-based Bina Technology circulated heavily in Chinese social media, revealing that the firm is willing to compensate iPhone owners who are willing to switch to different brands of smartphones. According to Shanghaiist, each iPhone user will get from 1,000 yuan or $150 for iPhone 4 and up to 2,500 yuan or $375 each for higher models.
The directive, issued by the company’s general manager, Zhang Yunlong, also warned an early exit for those who decide to purchase the iPhone 7.
The company’s new policy is seen as a direct protest on the UN Tribunal’s decision which went in favor of the Philippines rather than China. Many Chinese citizens believe that the U.S. is partly to blame with the results of the case, resulting into hostility toward American brands.
Last week, some netizens smashed their iPhones and then posted them on social media. Another “patriotic” Chinese man even beat up another man who was thought to be wearing Nike shoes, another popular American brand. Some of the patriots even called for a boycott of KFC.
Chinese state-run media dismissed the recent spate of so-called “nationalistic” reactions as not rational. According to Xinhua. “dumb acts like boycotting KFC are not patriotism,” and instead, called for “rational patriotism.”