Why is gold iPhone 5S called 'local tyrant gold' in China

Updated: 2013-10-14
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"Local tyrant gold" (土豪金 Tu Hao Jin), is derived from the term "local tyrant", and has become a popular phrase in China. It is used to describe the gold iPhone 5S.

On Sept. 20, 2013, the new generation of Apple products -- iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C -- was officially launched in the Chinese mainland. It was the first time that China was listed for the debut of Apple's latest mobile phones. In addition to the black and white classic colors, Apple added gold to its iPhone 5S range.

In China gold symbolizes nobility, wealth and prosperity, and Chinese people view the metal gold as a valuable asset to hold. That explains why Chinese consumers are so passionate about the gold iPhone 5S.

Since its launch on Sept. 20, the gold iPhone 5S has been in short supply in China, and its price rose to nearly 10,000 yuan (about US$1,634), twice as much as the phone's original retail value. While Apple calls the color "champagne gold," many Chinese Internet users have adopted the more satirical and critical description "local tyrant gold" to refer to rich showoffs.

At present, the 'local tyrant gold' has sold out in many retail channels, while the number of Chinese consumers ordering for the product is still growing.
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