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Palace Museum rings in new year with custom smartphone | Updated: 2016-12-19 19:17

The Palace Museum has launched its first themed smartphone in its latest effort to revitalize traditional culture with the help of modern technology.

The smart phone, jointly released by the museum and high-end brand 8848 Ti Mobile Phone in time for Chinese New Year, was designed to showcase traditional Chinese culture and craftsmanship.

Renowned designer Laurence Xu worked on the new phone that comes with special Palace Museum apps and wallpapers, including a tour guide app, collection introduction app and solar terms scenery wallpaper.

At 19,999 yuan each, only 999 of the limited edition phones have been made.

The back of the phone is made from calfskin leather and it comes in four colors; black, blue, red and yellow.

It's not the museum's first effort to enrich people's knowledge about traditional culture using the internet.

Early in July, the museum launched a mobile video game with the internet giant Tencent, which was based on the Forbidden City and became a Chinese hit similar to Candy Crush.

Meanwhile, the museum posted a profit of over 1 billion yuan ($144 million) last year by selling cultural and creative products on, the world's largest customer-to-customer platform. These products, including jewelry, key chains, umbrellas and porcelain, are popular among young people.

"Museums should neither be detached from the public nor keep cultural relics in dust. Otherwise, traditional culture will turn solidified," Su Yi, deputy director of the information office of the Palace Museum, said.

Li Hongyang contributed to this story.

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