For sale: RMB 19,999 Palace Museum phone

In celebration of the coming Chinese New Year, the Palace Museum, in collaboration with a Chinese phone maker, is planning to release 999 mobile phone units priced at RMB19,999.

The phone will reportedly be available by the end of January 2017.

The design of the phone is drawn from the Palace Museum’s collection, incorporating elements from the Forbidden City such as dragons and auspicious clouds.

In addition, the back of the phone is made of 18K gold and decorated with a traditional Chinese motif.

The phone is equipped with several of the museum’s apps, along with a screensaver and wallpaper featuring the 24 solar terms.

The price has sparked debate among netizens. Some argue that Chinese culture should not be used for profit while others believe the product is inappropriate and vulgar.

Despite the controversy, Wang Yamin, executive deputy director of the Palace Museum, told media that he hopes to establish a bridge between traditional Chinese culture and intelligent manufacturing through collaboration with the phone maker.

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