Apple unveils fourth Spring Festival film, showing close bond with Chinese market
Published: Jan 30, 2021 01:38 AM

Apple Photo: VCG

Apple unveiled its fourth annual Spring Festival short film tailored for the Chinese market on Friday, about two weeks ahead of China’s most important festival.

Directed by American-Chinese filmmaker Lulu Wang who used an iPhone 12 Pro Max, the 12-min film tells a story about growth, understanding and affection. In the film, a curious girl is attracted by the Chinese mythology surrounding Nian, a beast character that means “year,” or “new year.” She keeps asking question about Nian and annoys her parents, who tell the girl that Nian is a dangerous monster that might eat her. 

By accident, the girl meets Nian in the mountain and they become good friends. But when she returns to the village with Nian for Chinese New Year, the monster is scared away by fireworks (in the Chinese custom, fireworks are set off to drive away Nian). In a conversation with the daughter, the parents understand her and Nian. So they take their daughter back to the mountains to look for Nian again
"This year underscored the importance of family and the power of creativity, curiosity and a little magic to face even our greatest fears. We wish you a Year of the Ox filled with happiness, health and possibility,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said when posting the short film on Sina Weibo. 

Internet users spoke highly of the film, saying it continued the warm tone of Apple’s Spring Festival films and they love to see friendliness from a US firm to Chinese culture.

"The film is nice to watch and it shows Apple’s respect for Chinese culture,” a Weibo user said.  

"I hope all questions can be answered and all people can be understood,” said a netizen. 

"Mistrust and division among nations and even among ethnic groups have intensified in the context of the pandemic. These antagonistic emotions, like the stereotyped perception of the Nian beast, lurk deep in people’s consciousness. If we can rethink our relationship with Nian, might it inspire us to rethink our relationship with other things?” said another Weibo user. 

This is the fourth year in a row that Apple has released its Spring Festival short film shot by iPhone, following Three Minutes in 2018, A Bucket in 2019, and Daughter in 2020, which were also warmly received by Chinese netizens.

Observers believe that the example of Apple shows that respecting Chinese culture and the Chinese people is the foundation of winning the market.

Apple reported record-high revenue of $111.44 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, up 21% from the same period last year, the company said on Tuesday. Revenue from Greater China rose 57%, accounting for 19% of the company's total, Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Cook said the company's iPhones and many other products and services are selling well in China, with record sales of Apple products driven by new users and existing users upgrading their devices, Xinhua reported.