Gaudy 18K-gold "Forbidden City" smartphone declared royal disgrace on social media

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/12/21 18:13:40

The Palace Museum in Beijing is touting a Forbidden City-themed luxury smartphone going for an emperor's ransom that has so far been met with a fanfare of boos on Sina Weibo.

The "Titanium Palace Edition" phone, expected to be released in January, is priced at 19,999 yuan ($2,878), Beijing Youth Daily reported Wednesday.

And while the handset contains no titanium, it's not short on precious gems and metals - the screen is made from sapphire glass and the back features an 18K-gold dragon medallion. 

Only 999 will be sold.

Phone makers 8488 partnered with the Palace Museum to create the limited-edition device inspired by the museum's imperial collections, the company posted December 15 on Sina Weibo.

But many on Sina Weibo turned up their noses at the phone, calling it "ostentatious" and a "stain on the sacredness of the imperial city."

Following the collective groan on social media, the Palace Museum seemingly tried to distance itself from the product, claiming it had nothing to do with the manufacturing.

"We don't sell mobile phones," read a post on the Palace Muesum's official Sina Weibo account on Tuesday.

This stands in contrast to the museum's optimism when the project was announced earlier this year.

"We hope this cooperation will help the Forbidden City enter the tech industry," Wang Yamin, vice-president of the Palace Museum, was quoted as saying in May.

The Palace Museum takes in about 1 billion yuan annually from souvenirs and licensed products, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

Beijing Youth Daily

Posted in: ODD NEWS

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