WASHINGTON D.C. ( — A three-year government economic study has concluded the U.S. has fallen behind China because Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Washington and therefore knows what’s going to happen more than half a day before the United States.

As a result of unfair time practices, when Apple launches a new iPad in the U.S., China has already been making knock-offs for half a day.

“This is not going to be easy for Americans to hear, but we have incontrovertible proof that when it’s morning here, it’s night there, and when it’s night here, it’s the next day there,” said U.S. special envoy Carter Brightman. “Put simply: China is living in the future and we’re living in their past. How are we supposed to compete on such an unlevel playing field?”
As a result of their investigation, Brightman and his colleagues believe the U.S. should stop focusing on China’s unfair trade practices and instead denounce the Asian giant’s “unfair time practices.”
“The Chinese claim they make things faster and cheaper, but they don’t make them faster, they just make them earlier. Because of the time difference,” he said.
The imbalance also helps spur the prolific Chinese knock-off market, said economist Angela Crowley, who led the study.
“Let’s say Apple is going to launch a new iPad at noon on a Monday. Well, noon Monday in China is 9 o’clock Sunday night in California because they’re even at more of a disadvantage – they’re 16 hours behind. The end result is, Apple hasn’t even launched the product yet and China’s already making knock-offs.”
Chinese officials dismissed the allegations, insisting the time difference is nothing more than the result of Earth’s rotation. Crowley and Brightman, however, said the discrepancy is more systematic than that.
“The first time we went to Beijing, our watches said it was 9 a.m., but their watches said 10 p.m.,” Crowley recalled. “It wasn’t just one or two people acting like it was 10, either. It was everybody. All the clocks said it was 10 p.m. People had already finished dinner. Some had gone to bed. And it was dark.”
Explained Brightman: “The Earth doesn’t set people’s watches. The Earth doesn’t make dinner. The Earth doesn’t put you to sleep. No, this was a nationwide effort to exist in the future at our expense.”
And what about the dark?
“We don’t know,” said Brightman. “They have a huge workforce. Maybe they painted the sky black or damned the sun. You might think that’s not possible now but maybe they can do that kind of thing in the future. In China.”
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