Members of China’s Communist Party do not want to be eclipsed by the likes of David Cameron spending a small fortune on his iPad.
According to Reuters, the Party does not want wasting huge amounts of money on tablets to be the soul preserve of western politicians and issued an iPad clone which costs more than anything Apple could dream up.
Members can now carry a tablet PC to verify identification cards, read the blogs of cadres and manage state-owned firms without having to worry about their secrets being handed over to the CIA.
RedPad Number One is an Android-based tablet computer filled with apps catered to a party official’s every need. It comes with a leather case and costs $1,600 which is twice the price of Apple’s most expensive iPad 2.
Chinese bloggers are furious, but the makers of the RedPad Number One told the Southern Daily that sales of the tablet were completely market driven.
It was hoping to compete against the foreign brands and the price is high because of the number of pre-installed apps that cater to bureaucrats and state-owned company managers.
There are apps that check the validity of a journalist’s government accreditation as well as read state-run newspapers and microblogs.
However, an online survey showed that more than 2,000 netizens believed that the RedPad was meant to be a symbol of privilege, while another 1,500 thought its purpose is to fleece taxpayers.