updated 12:50 pm EST, Tue January 4, 2011
Chinese official says Meizu paid for long M9 lines
The China Telecom Industry Association's (CTIA) Secretary General Li Yi accused Meizu of staging the very long M9 lines for its New Year's debut. He claimed Meizu chief Jack Wong paid for the hundreds or thousands of customers to line up at key Meizu stores. This was just part of how he regularly conducted business, the official commented in his Weibo update.
Li Yi nonetheless had a backhanded compliment and argued that the effort was worthwhile, since he estimated that Wong would have paid less than 300,000 yuan renminbi ($45,375) but received much more in the way of publicity.
Meizu Sales Director Hailiang Hua has already denied the allegations. The company had already taken pre-orders that would have justified the lines. It was "ignorant and a joke," the executive said, adding that many of those who had queued up didn't get a phone in the end. Wong himself countered and said the CTIA Secretary General had a "big mouth."
Phone lineups are uncommon in China and have mostly centered around Apple's launch of the iPhone 4 in the country last year, although that was partly helped by the opening of extra Apple stores as well as a market with relatively few official outlets and a burgeoning gray market. [via MeizuMe]