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Apple’s Reputation in China Losing Ground to Domestic Brands Like Huawei and Xiaomi

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Chinese customers prefer home-grown smartphone maker Huawei over Apple, according to a recent survey.

Apple’s market share is China is dwindling with each passing quarter, thanks to the growth of domestic manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi. But it appears that Apple is not only losing ground to domestic brands in terms of smartphone sales, but in reputation as well.

According to a new report from the South China Morning Post, the Reputation Institute released its China RepTrak rankings this week. Apple was ranked among 280 other domestic and international companies in a poll that questioned 30,000 Chinese customers. Apple ranks behind other technology giants including Intel, who took first place, Huawei, at second, Google at fourth, Nokia, at eighth, and Microsoft at eleventh.

The survey report was compiled after conducting a poll which saw around 30,000 Chinese participants voting for over 280 companies, both domestic and international. The participants were tasked with rating the companies on parameters like trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling, with the average of them all constituting the final reputation score.

Huawei got 72.5 points to nab the second spot behind Intel, which got 73.6 points to top the chart. Apple secured a distant 12th rank with a score of just 69.7 points. In Reputation Institute’s survey, it was discovered that Chinese citizens perceive Huawei to be “more genuine” than Apple, and that the Chinese smartphone maker “stands out from the crowd.” Apple, on the other hand, was found to lag behind when it comes to transparency.

“People expect companies to take responsibility for more than just selling the product,” said Reputation Institute executive partner Nicolas Georges Trad. “They are expecting companies to have a vision for the future and have visible leadership.”

Apple’s reputation took a major hit in China after reports of poor working conditions at Foxconn’s facilities started making the rounds. It was discovered that Foxconn employs high school students to manufacture Apple devices in hazardous working conditions, which even led to some workers committing suicide.

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