Apple’s Red iPhone Has a Different Name in China
Apple’s new red iPhone 7 apparently won’t carry the same name in China.
The tech giant’s China retail page has listed the new iPhone without its (PRODUCT)RED branding, suggesting the handset could solely be offered as another color option in China, according to several reports. As of this writing, Apple’s China page is promoting the new iPhone solely as its own color and doesn’t make mention of (PRODUCT)RED or the initiative.
Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday unveiled the its new red handset. The device has the same internal components and design as other iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, but features a red back plate. It’s part of Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED line of devices, which come with a red finish to signify the fight against AIDS. With each (PRODUCT)RED device sale, Apple donates an unidentified portion of the proceeds to the Global Fund to help agencies around the world eradicate AIDS.
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In a statement on Tuesday, Deborah Dugan, CEO for (RED), an organization that matches businesses and funds with AIDS eradication efforts, said that Apple has donated more than $130 million over the last decade to the effort, making it the world’s largest corporate donor to the Global Fund.
While Apple plans to sell the new iPhone 7 with (PRODUCT)RED around the world, China has apparently become a notable exception. And at least so far, Apple isn’t saying why.
However, China has become a focal point in the global AIDS battle. Over the last couple of years, local media outlets have reported on what is a growing HIV and AIDS problem in the country, specifically among homosexual men. Last year, Beijing Today said that the Chinese “government’s negligence and the social stigma imposed on the gay community has made the group a more vulnerable target for HIV in China.”
Although HIV prevalence is exceedingly low in China (it affects less than 0.1% of the population), the numbers are growing. And according to AVERT, a not-for-profit that seeks to education people on HIV and AIDS, the country has “suppressed” activists working to tackle the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
“Harassment, detention and censorship are just some of the challenges HIV and AIDS activist groups have faced in the past,” the organization wrote.
AVERT is also concerned that without steps to improve diagnosis and care, China might not be able to eradicate AIDS by 2030, which it has said it will do.
Apple did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on why it’s dropped the (PRODUCT)RED branding in China.