Apple has taken flack for over-policing its iPhone App store. But sometimes the company under-polices, as well. As with LuckyFortune, a fortune cookie app built around what can only be descrived as a "ching-chong Chinaman" theme.
We downloaded the app after it was flagged on the personal blog of Jennifer 8. Lee, the Chinese American New York Times reporter who wrote a book on the evolution of the fortune cookie. In a post titled "Now You Can Get Fortune Cookies on Your iPhone with a Ching Chong voice," Lee writes that the voice in the app "definitely doesn't sound like a native Chinese speaker, just what someone who thinks a native Chinese speaker would sound like in English... Yikes."
Yikes indeed. In addition to the ridiculous voice (see our brief video above), there's also the sound of a gong, and a brief string refrain that's become the calling card of all-too-many caricatured "Chinese" moments in film and television. We've emailed app author Charles Hill to get his thoughts, and will update this post if we do. For now this app looks pretty unredeemable. Of course judging by the popularity of stupid "ching-chong" poses among Olympic athletes and teen celebrities, the app should still enjoy some decent sales until Apple yanks it.