Steve Jobs occupied a unique place in American business and culture; no other billionaire in my life has commanded genuine affection from the general public, and nobody deserved it more. The Financial Times reports that Jobs’s passing has elicited similar responses in P.R. China. One Chinese academic wrote of Jobs:
It is said Chinese people hate the rich. But all the Chinese are mourning for Jobs after he died. They don’t hate the rich. They respect the rich who accumulate their fortune via talents and innovation as well. What Chinese people hate are those get rich by monopoly, corruption and cheating.
Despite the many imperfections in Jobs’s life and character, nevertheless it is clear that not a few people find his example to be one worth admiring–and using as a symbol of what genuine freedom and competition might look like.