Although the government of the People's Republic of China has been officially atheist since it was established in 1949, the people of China have for the most part been able to worship as they please.
It's doubtful, however, that authorities could have anticipated the near-messianic status the late Steve Jobs acquired in China over the past decade.
Indeed, Jobs inspired an almost godlike degree of admiration and devotion among China's new, tech-savvy generation – and the feeling extended to Chinese in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well.
The past few years have seen a flood of unauthorized Jobs biographies, action figures (right), ersatz Apple iPhones and iPods, and even entire fake Apple stores selling fake Apple products. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then China's taken the concept of flattery into an entirely new dimension.
The October 5th announcement of Steve Jobs' passing has shocked and saddened the many millions of Chinese citizens who looked to Jobs as an inspiration both personally and professionally. Dozens of small but growing memorials have sprung up at the the official Apple store in Hong Kong and the 6 official stores in Mainland China.
The photo montage above is especially touching, as it shows one reverent Apple fan placing his Steve Jobs action figure on a small wooden altar, just outside the entrance of the Hong Kong Apple store.
The mask-wearing fan says a small prayer and then walks away, leaving the action figure behind – no small sacrifice, as less than 200 of the incredibly detailed $79.99 figurines were sold before Apple's lawyers forced the manufacturer to cease and desist.
You can visit M.I.C Gadget's website to read a number of tributes left for Steve Jobs by some of Asia's most powerful tech company CEOs including Terry Gou of Foxconn, Yuanqing Yuan of Lenovo, Zhentang Wang of Acer and many more.
RIP, Steve Jobs, it takes a rare and special person to inspire people from all walks of live living all types of lifestyles in all kinds of nations across the globe. (via M.I.C Gadget, CNN, and Engadget China)