Asia Pays Tribute to Steve Jobs

Technologists and users around the region remembered him as an innovator.

BUSAN, South Korea -- Technologists, Apple users and fans around Asia paid tribute to Steve Jobs, after learning of his passing early on Thursday morning.

Korea's IT industry reacted strongly to news of Jobs' passing.

Choi Ji-seong, Vice-Chairman of Samsung Electronics told Chosun Ilbo, the nation's largest daily newspaper, that he sincerely expressed his regret about the death of the former Apple CEO. "The deceased was a genius enterpreneur who offered a vision to the global IT industry. His creative spirit and legendary achievements will not be forgotten."

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Ahn Lab, a Korean security solution provider that sells antivirus software and network security appliances, said on the company's official Twitter page: "It feels like an end of an era, but his heritage will be left behind. It's sad news."  

One Korean Facebook post read: "A co-worker said last week that her five-year-old started begging for a mobile phone, saying, 'Mom, I need a cell phone...the one with a fruit painting on it, you know? I only want THAT.' RIP Steve Jobs." 

“He is a modern genius who combined art with technology. In hundreds of years people will look on him as they do Leonardo da Vinci," Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son said of Jobs from Japan.

"The digital age has lost its leading light, but Steve's innovation and creativity will inspire dreamers and thinkers for generations," Sony CEO Howard Stringer.

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China's microblogging site Weibo created a special page for tributes, which by late afternoon Thursday had received almost 36 million posts. "God wanted to use the iPhone 5, so he took Jobs back right after the iPhone 4S launch," one user posted. Weibo's parent company made a separate commemoration page with articles and photos of the Apple founder. The country's largest online video site, Youku, created a 55-minute tribute to Jobs, comprised of his best presentations and speeches.

Fans and users placed white flowers -- used traditionally in funerals in China -- in front of the Apple Store in Beijing and at the newly opened store in Hong Kong.

"As a competitor, he helped ensure all of us pushed even harder. I am confident his legacy will continue to energize the industry for many years to come," Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Chinese computer maker Lenovo, told CNN. 

The reaction caps a decade for Apple in China in which it went from being relegated only to use by graphic designers and foreign owners, to having one of the hottest products on the market. Having made headway with the release of the iPod, Apple began to breakthrough with the 2007 debut of the iPhone -- although the first iPhone legally sold in China did not appear until Sept. 2010. Millions of "cracked" or "jail-broken" 2G and 3G iPhones -- whose software had been altered to unlock them -- became commonplace major Chinese cities. Demand for the iPhone 4 was so great that in late 2010 China's customs service launched a crackdown on travelers bringing them back from Hong Kong, where the phones were sold unlocked.

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