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May 30, 2017

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Hu draws ire on iPhone 5 posting

Executive Yuan spokesman Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) yesterday responded to the controversy stirred up on Sunday after he posted a picture of an iPhone 5 on his Facebook page.

"Help the economy and bolster consumption," Hu wrote under the picture showing the Apple handset's black case with its telltale icon.

Using an amorphous ancient Chinese allusion, Hu explained yesterday that he posted the picture of the iPhone 5 on his Facebook even though Economic Minister Shih Yen-hsiang (施顏祥) recently urged the Taiwanese public to purchase products made by Taiwan-based company HTC because he wanted to use the Apple product to draw attraction to his page, where he promotes the government's economic policy.

Hu's classical-Chinese-themed explanation came as he explained that he did not own the latest iPhone and was only considering purchasing one.

  "I use HTC, and so do most Cabinet officials," Hu said. "The accusation of my being not patriotic was a misunderstanding."

He also said that Taiwan's democracy should mature further so "all Cabinet officials can be free from fears of being caught not using HTC phones."

  Asked about the statement, Premier Sean Chen redirector questions back to Hu, saying only that the "Economic Power-Up Plan" is something the entire Executive Yuan, including Hu, is trying to promote.

  The sudden outburst of media attention and public scrutiny to what kinds of smartphones Taiwan government officials use was stirred up by Hu's controversial post, according to the United News Daily. Taiwan netizens have started to discuss whether government officials should use local products to support local industries, rather than buying international products, the newspaper reported.

Legislators have also started to wonder which smartphone Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) using, according to the United Daily News. Chang responded by saying that he was indeed using an iPhone, but stressed that it was only because it was distributed by the office to employees for work purposes. Chang added that if he had a choice, he would not use a smartphone, but instead a simple Nokia feature phone would suit him just fine.

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