TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Apple's annual September press conference on Wednesday (Sept. 12) drew an outcry from a Chinese state-run media outlet simply for continuing to list Taiwan as a country rather than a part of China.
At yesterday's Apple conference, after introducing its new products, it then followed its standard convention of listing the dates and locations of the first big wave of new releases. Under the Sept. 21 launch date for its new iPhone XS and XS Max, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were all listed separately, including the official flags of each.
Most conspicuous was Taiwan, as it stated the name of the country as "Taiwan" and showed its official flag, both of which have been under fire in recent years under Beijing's "namefare" campaign meant to try to marginalize the country.
Global Times Weibo post singling out China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, U.S. and U.S. Virgin Islands.
On its Weibo page today, the Global Times questioned Apple's decision to list Taiwan separately from China, "Apple, what did you mean at this press conference?" It then pointed out that while China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were listed separately, the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands both had "U.S." in front of them and asked why "China" could not be added in front of Hong Kong and Taiwan in the same way.
Chinese netizens on the tightly monitored Weibo platform made comments in response, such as, "I have yet another reason why I won't buy an Apple phone," "I'm waiting for an apology," and "rectify this, do not sell in China until this is rectified."
Close-up view posted by Global Times on Weibo.
Meanwhile, outside of the Great Firewall of China, Taiwanese netizens made fun of China's selective singling out of listings of Taiwan. They pointed out that Taiwan's flag has been long been displayed and China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have been listed separately for years under the option for country on Apple's website.
Taiwanese netizens mocked the outcome of any government ordered boycott on Apple's sales in China:
"Most of the customers will still be Chinese."
"Good luck with the boycott, I'm sure tomorrow Apple will kneel and sing a victory song."
"Boycott Apple, I bet you won't really do that."
Another netizen demonstrated how ridiculous China's naming convention is:
"Just mark them... 'China America, China Great Britain,' That way, the U.S. and the UK belong to China. Or simply mark it 'China Earth.' So the whole world belongs to China. This really shows how severely brain damaged the Chinese are!"