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Apple Commemorates New Year in Its First TV Spot Created Specifically for China

In a move that underscores China's importance to Apple, the company released an ad that is aware of Chinese culture without resorting to Chinese cliches.

Apple Inc.

Apple has created its first television commercial specifically for China, a spot that commemorates the New Year.

The ad — which is strongly evocative of Apple’s holiday campaign in the United States — celebrates the importance of family, even as it underscores the growing importance of China as a market for Apple.

Apple’s commercial depicts a young girl using the company’s products to create a memento for her grandmother incorporating a popular song from the 1940s, “Forever Smile,” sung by acclaimed Chinese singer and actress Zhou Xuan, who earned the nickname “Golden Voice.”

The spot is aware of Chinese culture without resorting to token motifs (no lanterns, dragons or other clichés). Indeed, it was produced by award-winning Asian filmmaker Ann Hui On-Wah, art director William Chang Suk Ping and cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

The debut comes as Apple is rapidly expanding its retail presence in greater China. The company has 15 stores in mainland China and three in Hong Kong. It opened three stores in January — Zhengzhou in Central China, Hangzhou in Eastern China and Chongqing in the southwest — and plans to open another on Saturday in Tianjin in the north.

Its store in cosmopolitan Shanghai is the busiest in the world — attracting some 25,000 visitors a day.

Apple is winning over affluent and brand-conscious Chinese consumers, earning the most coveted brand status among the country’s wealthiest consumers, according to China-based luxury publishing group Hurun Research.

The company is reaping the rewards: It brought in $16.1 billion from China during the December quarter.

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