Chinese Media Calls Out Apple, Cites “Double Standard” for Customer Service

People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party propaganda machine’s mouthpiece, accused Apple of declining journalists’ request for interviews and replying with a self-praising report after China’s national television broadcasted a critical report.

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What analysts have learned from the above and a previous media attack through CCTV: This is the Chinese government’s way to encourage local smartphone manufacturers.

The criticism means “that in establishment circles, there is a level of acceptance that it is OK to go against this company, which can mean there’s trouble down the road,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, director of Danwei.org, which researches Chinese media speaking with The Wall Street Journal.

Apple faced accusations from CCTV (China Central Television) of skirting warranty periods and adopting different customer-service policies in China than in other countries. The company replied by stating it takes customer concern seriously and that “Apple’s Chinese warranty is more or less the same as in the US and all over the world.”

Apple on Saturday posted a message on its Chinese website to clarify the company’s warranty policy, saying it fixes phones with new components but reattaches the original back case. The statement also said Apple provides a 90-day guarantee on repairs, longer than the 30 days required by Chinese law.

A particular case cited by People’s Daily was of a student complaining about Apple repairing Chinese customer’s phones, while it gives new phones to customers in other countries, including U.S. and Australia.

The negative advertising Apple seem to face in China appeared recently after the Chinese government indicated that it is likely to regulate the smartphone and app market within China. The Chinese government’s research institute has published a white paper recently revealing that China is too reliant on Google’s Android, and also accused the search giant of discrimination.

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