Pay with sheep for laptops, smartphones in West China

Pay with sheep for laptops, smartphones in West China

Summary: A computer dealer in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is running the promotion in order to give villagers a better idea of the value of his goods and offer them a "fair deal".

TOPICS: Tech Industry, China

An electronics dealer in West China has decided to run a special promotion to accept sheep as payment for his products.

At the store in Kashgar city in the rural Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, a smartphone goes for one sheep, a tablet for two sheep, while a laptop costs four sheep, according to China Daily.

A leaflet handed out in villages around the city promoting the sheep deal. (credit: China Daily)

The dealer, Huang Jie, had decided to run the promotion to give people a better idea of the value of his products and encourage them to use their sheep for payment, said the report.

"Many believe computers are very expensive, I want to show them that electronic products are actually quite affordable by comparing their values with their most familiar commodity--sheep," noted Huang.

The dealer explained he often found people selling their sheep for less than market value because the villages were far from the city. "But they can trade their sheep with me, and I help them sell the sheep at a fair price. I will return the money to them if it's more than the price of the product they purchased," he added.

According to China Daily, no one has taken up the deal yet. Huang noted in the article sales was difficult because some villages still did not have Internet connections.

Topics: Tech Industry, China


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • A Social (NOT Socialist) Entrepeneur!

    This is what capitalism was SUPPOSED to be when Adam Smith wrote about it: using the market to deliver positive value to ALL parties to a transaction. Too many companies here in the US and other developed companies have perverted it into using the market to take advantage of people with less knowledge (e.g. used car buyers, prospective home buyers) or bargaining power (e.g. non-union workers with common skills) to deliver positive value to those with more knowledge and bargaining power, at the EXPENSE of their transaction "partners." These "winners" then lobby (i.e. BUY) lawmakers to make their frauds legal.

    I hope this dealer keeps his sense of ethics when he becomes a wealthy computer sales tycoon!
    • I thought something very similar

      You mean using currency with actual value? What a novel idea... People with bitcoins should look hard at this and learn something about value backed currency exchange.
  • Baaaah!!!!

    This leads to all sorts of interesting questions as the 21st century meets the olden days. Clearly, sheep are as negotiable as money for the Uygurs. So is a pregnant ewe a counterfeiter? Can I get a smartphone in exchange for 6 legs of lamb? What about sales tax? Can you give a discount by allowing the buyer to shave off and keep all the wool? Can we dispense with dollars, euros and reminbi and simply go on the animal standard? One sheep is worth 10 chickens, for example. So you buy something with a sheep, and you get two chickens as change? Could be a messy transaction, especially if the animals poop.
  • Sheep? Or Goats?

    If you can buy the items with sheep, why does the graphic show goats?