We have heard the stories about Apple fanatics selling body parts and changing their passport in order to get the latest products from the company, but this latest story coming from China gives a different perspective on how you can use Apple devices as a tool.
As a rather strange tool, in fact: an entrepreneurial Chinese woman is said to have convinced 20 men that she has been dating to buy her iPhones, which she would then sell and use the money as a downpayment for a house.
The purchase of a house is probably the single biggest one-time spending in the lifetime of a person, and it could take long years of hard work, so it is indeed remarkable that the woman found the quick way to get there (however, not the most ethical one, arguably).
Xiaoli, whose life remains veiled in secrecy, then sold all of the phones to a suspiciously particular place: mobile phone recycling site Hui Shou Bao, all for a total of 120,000 Chinese yuan, the equivalent of around $17,500. The woman then used the cash for a downpayment towards a countryhouse home.
Xiaoli broke the news when she invited her co-workers for a house warming party. "Everyone in the office is talking about this now. Who knows what her boyfriends think now this news has become public."
From Qiaoba we also learn that Xiaoli "is not from a wealthy family. Her mum is a housewife and her dad is a migrant worker, and she is the oldest daughter. Her parents are getting old and she might be under a lot pressure hoping to buy them a house... But it's still unbelievable that she could use this method!"
Meanwhile, the whole story quickly started becoming popular in China: a '20 mobiles for a house' hashtag went trending on local microblog Weibo and has been used more than 13 million times.
Reaction sway from admiration for Xiaoli's boyfriend-getting and management skills to sheer awe and condemnation of her actions. Whatever it is, Xiaoli - if she even exists - is now said to shy away from the public eye and to refuse interviews from media. That's actually not surprising... those 20 boyfriends surely would not be happy about her actions.