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

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 …

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Optional

Just shows that the incompetence of government is everyones problem.

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Anonymous Coward

No, different option

Option to have a kick back :)

Which is essential to do business in some part of the world...

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Corporate incompetence

"...incompetence of government ..."

Uhm, incompetence of *any* large organization, in details like these. Everyone working in big companies can tell stories about how the corporate IT function makes acquiring little widgets you could buy from your neighbourhood supermarket twice as expensive.

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Pint

It's only money !

What surprises me is that the invoice shown doesn't have a lot of stains from sweet-sour pork and maotai spirits on it - perhaps it's a clean copy made after the banquet ? In any event, as the Chinese say, 干杯!...

Henri

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Anonymous Coward

Is this news?

It's obvious HP mixed up the invoice: the Jetdirect 620n network adapter was the $1000 while the 128M extra printer memory was $156 (the 1000 yuan shown on the invoice next to the Jetdirect)

Not the best deals true, but not so wild either.

If this is news I must have dozens of news articles on my invoice folder...

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It was $1000 chinese yuen

It was 1000 Chunese Yuan, which is around USD150 or 100 quid, still a lot but it's government for ya, and nothing like the 1000 USD that the story implied.

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Bronze badge
Holmes

Sounds just like my Company

The people here who make the buying decisions haven't a clue about what they are buying. We are told : "They are experts at buying"; maybe, certainly expert at handing money over and filling the paperwork, but at nothing else.

A few years ago, when PC prices were dropping like a stone, our purchasing dept announced that they had secured a deal to buy PCs at a price FIXED for the next 3 years. They were proud of it too, the idiots.

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Probably cheaper to buy a 16GB one locally.

With any luck, it might actually be 128MB.

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Linux

About nine times??? Shirley not!

I have a 4GB stick (TDK) to backup my photos etc which cost less than $100, bought in Cambridge, England.

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Gold badge

This is probably RAM...

I could be wrong, but given the printer and JetDirect, I'm guessing the "memory stick" is a 128MB RAM upgrade for the printer, not a USB stick. Still doesn't excuse the price though.

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Gigabytes vs Megabytes

The invoice says "128M" and the article says 128 MB. I would think a 128 MB USB stick is worth perhaps $1.00 or less these days? A 128 GB might be worth the $47 mentioned.

Then again "exact replacement" of old technology can be expensive. Several years ago we had to have a particular 3Com 10Mbit with AUI for a government contract and it cost 10 times what a current 100Mbit UTP ethernet interface cost.

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Anonymous Coward

eh? nine times too much - more like nine thousand

You said 128Mb . If you think that's 9 times what you expect, I think you are being massively overcharged for your usb sticks - you been shopping at pc world again?

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Not USB

Dunnkopfs.

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Mushroom

nine times what one might expect

are you joking, mr.Feinmann? $47 should yield you 4GB at, least IMNSFHO

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FAIL

Nothing to see here

Erm, the invoice item prices are simply swapped over.

The price of the JetDirect was swapped with the memory. Remember prices are in Chinese currency, RMB, too.

Hardly shocking, unless you're a really picky accountant.

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FAIL

Printer memory, not USB

That's 128 MB of printer memory, not a USB stick. The price is still outrageous for that one, but at least it is a bit more exotic.

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Joke

What do you expect...

...if you *will* shop at Dixons?

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Anonymous Coward

Something a miss

You say "the price is about 9 times what one might expect"

Meaning that you would expect to pay $111 for a 128mb stick?

You go on to say "recommended for use with an Hp printer",

From the image posted, it looks more like a story about a jet direct card.......

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WTF?

USB stick?

Really? My rudimentary mandarin (ha-ha) suggests that's a memory upgrade to the printer itself.

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Silver badge

$1,000 for a 128MB memory stick

Not for the MoD I'm sure

"The price is about nine times what one might expect" - I'd expect not to be able to buy such a small one anymore

Do you mean 128GB ?

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