Monday, October 25, 2010

iPads A Hit With the People in China, But Government Seems to Have Issues With It

iPad: Chipping At The Great 'Firewall' of China

The iPad's popularity in China seems to have the government there in a quandary or two. People's Daily, the Chinese government “spokes-newspaper,” ran a report on the iPad, an odd occurrence in itself according to the Wall Street Journal's Realtime Report today.

Ding Gang, a People's Daily reporter who usually covers politics according to the WSJ, sniffs at the iPad as “a fad” and blames its popularity on kids who want to be “cool.” Major complaint by the Chinese columnist: It's too hard to download pirated content onto the iPad.

The iPad went on sales in China on September 17, but was available only in Wi-Fi models. That leaves the “chain of delivery” of content to the iPad still under control of the Chinese government, a continuing issue in the huge but tightly governed nation.

In a nation where many books and much internet content is banned, both iPads and Amazon's Kindles open a crack in the wall of censorship. A fascinating story in our sister publication, Kindle Nation Daily, from last April, recounts how a US traveler downloaded Wild Swans, a banned book, his Chinese guide wanted to read. The Whispernet delivery worked even in the remote spot on the Tibet border.

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