US prohibition won't stop Wellingtonian's Mac sales to Burma

Wellington businessman Dennis Win Thein will keep up his Apple distributorship in Burma (also known as Myanmar), despite Apple's decision to stop selling computers to schools there.

Wellington businessman Dennis Win Thein will keep up his Apple distributorship in Burma (also known as Myanmar), despite Apple’s decision to stop selling computers to schools there.

Apple says it has taken the action to comply with a Massachusetts state “selective purchasing” law aimed at encouraging an economic boycott of the country.

The law was passed in June in response to an appeal from pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi for protest measures against Burma’s military junta.

It prohibits state purchasing agents from buying goods or services from companies that do business in Burma, where the junta has launched another crackdown on activists.

Win Thein says he was consulted shortly after the law was passed in June, but will continue to sell Macs into Burmese schools.

Last year he sold about 4000 computers in Burma, in a business he says is completely separate from his role as managing director of the Capital Mac Centre.

“Capital Mac sources its stock from CED in New Zealand, but I get the stock I sell in Burma from Singapore, because the prices are quite different. There’s no physical connection at all.”

Meanwhile, Massachusetts state agents have contacted the computer companies throught still to be doing business in Burma--Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Acer, Sony Siemens, Alacatel, Mitsubishi and Toshiba--to ask about their plans.

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