The iPhone 6S is so anxiously awaited in China that sperm banks are using it to lure donors.
Two sperm centers posted messages on the country’s Facebook analogue, Tencent’s WeChat, this week encouraging men to donate so they have the cash to buy the new Apple phone that is expected to retail for about $1,000 in mainland China.
“You don’t need to give up a kidney to raise cash to buy an iPhone 6s as you can get enough money just by donating sperm!” the advertisements said, according to the South China Morning Post.
In central Hubei province, the going rate for samples from some young to middle-aged men was 5,000 yuan ($800). The Post said the ads had already attracted 400,000 views.
While China is hugely important to Apple right now—China revenues grew 110% last quarter and the region including Hong Kong and Taiwan comprises almost a third of total revenues— Apple is just as important to China. The iPhone is not just a smartphone to Chinese, but a $1,000 accessory. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said Chinese consumers were the inspiration for the rose gold color of the Apple Watch and now the iPhone 6S. In nearly every Chinese city you see gold iPhone 6s held by aspiring 20-somethings, government officials, and of course the nouveau riche.
Analysts say China may have driven as much as 20% of 6S preorders and the phone has become part of small talk these days. On a recent day in Beijing, a real estate agent laid out his plan for buying one. “They’re expensive here,” he bemoaned. “Much better prices in Hong Kong.” That’s where he’d go for one.
The old iPhone 6 Plus sold for $300 dollars less in Hong Kong than mainland China and drove smugglers to find ever more inventive ways to hide phones while crossing the border.
It may not be surprising, then, that sperm banks are joining the hype.