Elite members of the Chinese Communist Party can now, like their Western counterparts, get their own expensive tablets, paid for by public money. The tablet, the RedPad Number One, costs a massive 9999 Yuan, or roughly £999, and is based on the Android platform, rather than Apple's iOS.
It comes customised for "bureaucrats and state-owned company managers" according to one spokesperson, which allows the user to "check the validity of a journalist's government accreditation" as well as read newspapers and microblogs (ed : that's a bog standard RSS reader).
The tablet is not unlike the iPad 2 when it comes to hardware specifications. It has a dual core Cortex-A9 based chipset, Wi-Fi, 3G, a 9.7-inch XGA capacitive touchscreen, 16GB onboard storage and even a leather case.
According to Penn Olson, Chinese citizens are far from impressed, with an online survey showing that the majority believe the RedPad is a symbol of privilege and a covert way for public officers to fleece taxpayers.
The £999 price tag means that the profit margins must be sky high, given that a similarly priced Android tablet - without the onboard apps and the leather case - can be had for well under £150 from Chinese retailers.