Feeds

Chinese state research unit pays $1,000 for USB stick

128MB, HP-branded, none of your cheap rubbish

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Trouble-making Chinese paper the Southern Metropolis Daily has turned up an invoice showing that the Chinese Academy of Sciences is paying more than $1,000 for 128MB memory sticks.

The price is about nine times what one might expect, and when the paper questioned HP they were told that the unit should cost around $47 but that an exact replacement (recommended for use with an HP printer) could cost as much as $100 – that being the most expensive stick the company sells.

Invoice image

The invoice was posted by the Southern Metropolis Daily, and reproduced by Penn Olson

Defending the price paid, a rep from the Chinese Academy of Sciences told reporters that the sticks had to be approved and purchased centrally, and pointed out that the prices paid were on a public website, though when the paper's researcher tried to find the site, access was restricted to those with a government ID.

As the story gained ground locally, the academy struggled to explain that it was adding a sharing capability to the printer, and that it just hadn't looked closely at the contract which was now under review – so it was incompetence, rather than corruption, which led to the unreasonable pricing.

But the publicity is prompting discussions about how open public bodies in China should be with their spending, as reported in a poorly-translated piece on Network in China, with greater transparency being posited as a solution.

$1,000 for a 128MB memory stick might seem a little steep, but it's a bargain when compared to the $200,000 the US Government paid for a mobile weather app which doesn't work, and the Chinese can probably better afford it too. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.