Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Apple has begun teasing its Chinese fans after it published initial details of its one-day sale to mark Chinese New Year on its Web store.
The ‘Red Friday’ sale (red denotes good fortune in Chinese culture and is closely associated with the New Year) takes place this coming Friday — January 25 — although Apple isn’t revealing prices or discounts on offer until the day itself. CEO Tim Cook this month said that he expects China to become its biggest market in the near future, so it will be interesting to see how generous the prices are.
Already the site shows customers a few details including the fact that they can get their items engraved with a New Year’s message without charge, and enjoy free shipping. Other perks include a hotline of dedicated gift experts to help buyers make their choices, and special packaging to help complete a New Year’s gift surprise.
The company ran a similar promotion last year and this time around we’re expecting the discounts to focus on the newly released iPhone 5 and iPad mini. Last year, customers in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines were eligible for the one-day sale, but those details aren’t yet confirmed.
Apple began this calendar year with a sales push in China after it released seasonal gift guides for its Chinese customers on January 3 help to get them in the mood for the upcoming one-day sale.
Greater China accounted for 15 percent of Apple’s revenue during the last fiscal year, and the company is known to be taking steps to see that figure increase as it builds out its retail presence in the region.
Cook visited China earlier this month for his second trip as CEO. While the exact nature of his stay was not known or communicated, he did meet with a high-ranking minister and was speculated to have visited the offices of China Mobile, perhaps indicating his keenness to finally strike a deal with the world’s largest operator.
Apple took a significant step when it began introducing interest-free payment plans in China. That’s aimed at opening its products up to consumers in the country that might not otherwise have the dispensable income to buy an iPhone, iPad or Macbook in cash.
Hat tip Gary Allen, headline image via Thinkstock
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