BEIJING, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Apple fans expressed grief and sadness Thursday over the death of entrepreneur Steve Jobs, while also voicing an ardent hope that China will produce a similar visionary in the future.
Apple fans placed flowers, photos of Jobs, cards with handwritten messages and even real apples outside of Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai on Thursday to commemorate the legendary businessman.
Jobs' death ranked as the day's most popular topic on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular microblogging site, garnering more than 63 million posts by Thursday evening, just hours after Apple announced the news.
"I was really shocked when I woke up and heard the news in the morning.It is like a giant star falling from the sky," microblogger "Wei Jinhuan" wrote on Sina Weibo.
"His creativity and imagination astonished the whole world. His death means the end of an era," microblogger "Li Rong" wrote.
"I will never see him introducing his new products in simple dress and with powerful and enlightening words. Alas!" user "Mo Xiaowei" posted.
In a survey conducted by Sina Weibo, 53 percent of more than 70,000 respondents said they were "shocked" upon first hearing the news of Jobs' death. Another 35 percent said they were "sad," 21 percent said "regrettable but expected" and 17 percent said that they "could not believe it."
Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., died in the United States at the age of 56 on Wednesday after losing a long battle with cancer.
His death came just one day after Apple launched the latest version of its popular smartphone, the iPhone 4S.
"I now understand why the iPhone 5 can only be called iPhone 4S, because that stands for 'iPhone for Steve.' I will buy a new iPhone 4S to remember Jobs," microblogger "Xue Qi" said.
"Your products changed the world and your thoughts influenced a generation. May you rest in peace," Li Kaifu, former Google China president and current CEO of Beijing-based technology incubator Innovation Works, wrote on Sina Weibo.