Chinese citizens are reportedly smashing their iPhones and posting photos of the destruction online, along with calls to boycott American goods, to express their anger over an international court’s decision against Beijing in the South China Sea territorial dispute.
As Asia Correspondent explains, the protest is driven by the close ties between America and the Philippines, which prevailed over China at the Hague this week.
Also, iPhones were chosen for the tantrum because there was a ban against iPhone 6 models in China last month, prompted by Chinese regulators finding that the design of Apple’s product “closely resembled a phone from a Chinese competitor.”
Apple appealed the decision, but a number of analysts, notably billionaire investor Carl Icahn, believe the Chinese government is growing hostile to Apple, along with other American companies that just happen to have Chinese competitors with suspiciously similar products.
In a more significant expression of China’s anger, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said on Wednesday that China could declare an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea, a move that would flaunt the international court ruling and dramatically escalate tensions in the area.
Zhenmin softened his country’s position somewhat by “extending an olive branch to the new Philippine government” of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying the Philippines would “benefit from cooperating with China,” as reported by the Associated Press.