Jia Yueting, the billionaire founder and CEO of Chinese internet video site Leshi TV (LeTV), has compared Apple to the Nazis in a poster teasing the launch of LeTV's new smartphone. The image was posted to Jia's verified Weibo page (with more than 5 million followers) and shows a cartoon Adolf Hitler wearing a red armband with the Apple logo in place of the Nazi swastika.
"Crowdsourced, freedom vs arrogance, tyranny."
The text across the top of the poster compares the attributes of the Android and iOS ecosystems — "Crowdsourced, freedom vs arrogance, tyranny" — while Jia's accompanying post argues that Apple's approach to the smartphone industry is stifling innovation and harming the interests of users.
"Under the arrogant regime of iOS domination that developers around the world love yet hate, we are always carefully asking, 'is this kind of innovation okay?'" writes Jia. He goes on to say that Apple is a "dusk empire" — a metaphor for something which is dying — while the image depicts two contrasting paths for the industry. The outline of the phone in the background with open doors matches leaked images of LeTV's upcoming LeTV X900 smartphone.
The poster uploaded to Jia's Weibo account.
Admittedly, this sort of ideological criticism is fairly rote when it comes to Apple. Even Google's latest advertising campaign for Android, with its animal odd couples and tagline of "Be together. Not the same," carried the implicit message that iOS is restrictive and stifles individuality. However, there is obviously a world of difference between this type of subtle teasing and the deployment of Nazi imagery to malign your rivals.
Jia, who is estimated to have a net worth of $3.8 billion, is thought to have posted the image as part of LeTV's rumored, upcoming entrance into the smartphone market. Numerous images of what is said to be the company's flagship device have emerged in the past few weeks, with some sites reporting that it will feature 4GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch display, and a reversible USB Type-C port.
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