From China Digital Space
Steve Jobs’ death on October 5, 2011 triggered an enormous reaction from Chinese netizens. On Weibo, Beijing real estate tycoon Pan Shiyi chimed in with the following post:
PanShiyi (@潘石屹): Apple’s board of directors should make the following decision: To immediately manufacture iPhones and iPads that are under 1000 yuan [about US$157] so that more people can afford Apple products. This is the best way to commemorate Jobs.
One netizen replied:
@TangRouding9983 (@唐若丁9983): When Mr. Pan passes away some day, your company should offer homes that are under RMB1000 per square meter. Over a billion people will commemorate you then.
Pan soon deleted the original post, but his new title, "1000 Pan," spread rapidly. Netizens turned their frustration at China’s housing bubble on Pan by naming a new form of money, the Panbi (literally "Pan currency"), in his honor. Pan himself is the base unit of the Panbi; one Panbi is equivalent to RMB1000 per square meter. Thus, an apartment that normally costs RMB24,000 per square meeter would only cost 24 Panbi per square meter.