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Panbi

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Pānbì 潘币

One Panbi from the "SOHO Real Estate Bank of China." SOHO China, Pan’s real estate company, is the biggest developer in Beijing. (Artist: Rebel Pepper)
A fictional currency invented by netizens to mock property tycoon Pan Shiyi and simultaneously express disgust with the housing bubble.

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.
"苹果"董事会应该马上做一决定:大量生产1000元人民币以下一部的iPhone手机和iPad,让更多(人)用上"苹果",这是对乔布斯最好的纪念。[Chinese]

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.
潘总哪天要也去世了,也请贵公司推出1000一平米的房子吧,十几亿人民都会纪念您。[Chinese]

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.

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