Death of Steve Jobs: Assorted Reactions

October 7, 2011Chiafu Chen 陳家福2 Comments, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apart from the common words of commemoration and condolences that’s perhaps shared throughout the globe, here are some more interesting ones, many of which show a more standoffish attitude.

First, a hot topic that was quickly passed around on Weibo was about a remark made by a guy called Pan Shiyi, aka “China’s most visible and flamboyant property tycoons” . He is now given the nickname “Pan One-thousand” (reason explained below). The incident is summarized by the following tweet from mop (See also:  report from Shanghaiist):

[Steve Jobs dies; Pan One-thousand becomes hot] Pan Shiyi posted on weibo: “the best way for apple to commemorate Steve Jobs is to release an iPhone product under 1,000 yuan [$156 USD] to everyone, enabling everyone to use iPhone.” Some netizen replied: ” In case one day CEO Pan dies, please in the same spirit release houses priced under 1,000 yuan per square meter; that way, billions of people will remember you.” Consequently, CEO Pan deleted his tweet. http:/ /

More trolling ensued.


God wants to watch Japanese AV, so he took Ai Iijima; God want to see Crayon Shin-chan, so he took Usui; God wants to listen to music, so he took Michael Jackson; God wants to use the iPhone 5, So he took Steve Jobs. . . . My fellow netizens: We all want the housing price to go down, [concerning] that Fat Pan, God, you know what I mean.


Many say that the Chinese resent the rich, but the death of Steve Jobs leads to mourning. This shows that what the Chinese hate is not pure richness. Wealth that derives from personal talent and innovation is too respected by the Chinese people. What the Chinese truly resent is wealth obtained by power, monopolies, corruption, fraud, bribes, oppression and exploitation.

Some think Steve Jobs receives too much worship and attention.

Anonymous Weibo user:

Overnight Jobs became a god. I guess the passing of people like Gates, Page and Zuckerberg would lead to the creation of a few more gods by netizens. Everyone, please take a break.

On the entrepreneurial ingenuity of Steve Jobs.


This is how awe-inspiring people are like: when they live they shua [translate: swipe] your [credit] card; after they die they shua [overwhelm] your computer screen.

Next, some jokes of potentially apathetic/insensitive type.

@芮成钢 [This guy, Rui Chenggang was previously covered by Ministry of Tofu for his audacity of cutting Obama short]

Jobs is gone, and left the US unemployed…

…to which Kai-fu Lee disagrees.

No! Jobs is eternal, and belongs to the world. (Please show respect to a great man)

Below is a picture from Mop. Some Android outlet in China didn’t find any difficulty in jumping to the promotional opportunity:

The sign reads: Now that Steve Jobs is gone, what’s the point of buying Apple?

Next, on bureaucracy, lack of innovation and healthy business environment in China.


In times when CEO’s of many companies come to visit China, Steve Jobs has never been to China despite the fact that China is a very important market for Apple. On the day when Steve Jobs died, World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention was in session in Singapore. The Chinese do not lack diligence and knowledge, but because they are deeply influenced by the Tao of Confucius and Mencius, what they lack the most is innovation. If Steve Jobs had his way by virtue of his personality, he would not have been promoted even to the position of a department head in Chinese government bureaucracy, or a workshop director in an Chinese company. Perhaps the Chinese are born to follow others.


Regarding the passing of Jobs, I had written everything I had to say right after he resigned [see: That Crazy Jobs], but domestic media kept pushing by asking whether there will be a Jobs-like figure in China. My answer: we will follow the 100 years of unwavering policy [Chia-fu: this is a parody of official propaganda speak] , in other words, there will not be a Chinese Jobs in the next 100 years.

Finally, an interesting thought experiment, translated from Xinkuaibao: what if Steve Jobs was born in China?

If Steve Jobs was born in China, because he is a illegitimate child, he would likely to develop particularly low self-esteem and his classmates would constantly mock him. Little Jobs was very protective of his honor, so almost every day he would get into fights with his peers. Eventually, his parents would have no choice but transfer him to another school. Thanks to his giftedness, Jobs would do well on his school works, allowing him to receive admission to a good middle school.

In middle school, Jobs soon lost interest in learning things on textbook by rote and grew bored of school. He announced to his parents that he decided to drop out of school. Old Jobs was very angry about his son’s decision, after two failed attempt to talk him into going back to school, he gave him a good beating. Jobs had no choice but continue school. Due to his lack of interest in studying, Jobs’ grades plummeted. He did not do well in his high school entrance exams, and ended up in a third-tier high school.

At his high school, Jobs got acquainted with his soon-to-be business partner Steve Wozniak. In a nation-wide innovation contest, their product received first prize in the electronic product category. However, because of poor academic performance in subjects like English, Chinese and Chemistry, both Jobs and Wozniak ended up at a technical community college.

Jobs and Wozniak took college like duck to water. They spent almost every day in labs playing with their products. However, because of high frequency use and poor quality of school-purchased facility, they constantly broke lab equipment. The school decided to ban them from the lab.

After some studious work, they came up with a few prototypes of their product. One of their inventions caught the attention of a company. However, their professor appropriated their invention and made a fortune out of it. Disgruntled Jobs and his partner confronted the professor, and reported him to the school official. The school official sided with the professor, leading Jobs to quit school in a fit of rage.

Jobs was obsessed with personal computers, so he chose to move north to Beijing Zhongguancun and started a PC assembling business. He paid particular focus on customer experience, and as a result, the computers his product enjoyed good sales. However, other businesses soon copied his design and sold at lower prices. Jobs found himself struggling to make ends meet.

Now his product was shanzhai-ed by everyone, his sales plummeted. High rent price made it difficult for Jobs to continue his business. One time when Chengguan came to collect protection fees, Jobs had no money to pay. Conflict ensued, Jobs’ store got smashed and Jobs himself ended up in the hospital.

After recovery from the incident, Jobs started a job at a electronics factory. He worked over 12 hours a day, and would fall asleep right away when he came back home each day.

Through a mutual friend he was introduced to a girl from outside the town. Soon they fell in love and moved in together. It’s not long till the girl got pregnant. Jobs felt the rent was too high but was reluctant to take loans to buy an apartment. He asked the girl to get an abortion, but the girl insisted that she keep the child. This left Jobs with no option but marry the girl.

They eventually bought an apartment. Due to its high price, they could only pay by installments. Since then, Jobs lead a typical worker’s life.

One day Jobs felt ill and went to the doctor. The result of the examination came out and he found out he had a pancreatic cancer. Jobs’ family took their life savings to pay for Jobs’ treatment in major hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai, but it was too late and the effort was futile. Six months after the discovery of his cancer, Jobs passed away.

The 56-year-old Jobs had thus completed his ordinary life. We would live in a world without Apple, iPhone and iPad.

Featured image from Jonathan Mak, a 19 year old student from Hong Kong.

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2 comments to “Death of Steve Jobs: Assorted Reactions”

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  2. [...] believe would never have been a success had he been born and raised in China. (Check out this great weibo post, translated into English, that speculates on Jobs’ life had he been Chinese. [...]

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