Apple’s Shanghai Store Shirt Says: “Made For China”

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Apple will be giving away 5,000 of these free commemorative t-shirts this weekend at the grand opening of its flagship store in Shanghai.

Note what is says on the back: “Designed in California, Made for China.”

It’s a subtle but important play on Apple’s traditional credit line, which says: “Designed in California, Made in China.”

Given the controversy at Apple’s supplier Foxconn, I asked our Chinese blogger friend Chris Chang if the statement was appropriate. Some may feel that Apple’s relationship with China is exploitative.

“The statement is appropriate,” says Chang. “It’s actually the most attractive part of the shirt. I can’t say that Apple has an exploitative relationship with China, but according to Ron Johnson’s speech in the Shanghai Apple store, I believe that Apple is trying to build up a relationship with China.”

During the store’s press preview, Johnson — the head of Apple’s stores — said the company is planning a big push in China and will open 25 retail outlets there by 2012.

“Designed in California, Made for China." Picture: Chris Chang