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Chinese Government Officials get Customised £999 RedPad Tablet

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.