Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

People’s Daily criticizes Apple for double-standard warranties [Global Times] #China #Apple

Advertising misdirection under scrutiny? Misunderstanding? Or reverse-protectionism – new Chinese leadership style?

At the end of the day, the Chinese Apple users simply feel they are getting the short end of the deal. Above all, it can be hard to shake away the fact they are essentially buying a foreign-branded home-made product.

– – –

People’s Daily criticizes Apple for double-standard warranties
Source – Global Times, published March 28, 2013

Editor’s Note
The world’s most popular cell phone producer, Apple Inc. has come to public attention again as the People’s Daily published consecutive opinion articles for four days since March 25, criticizing its double-standard warranties. China Central Television reported the company has adopted differential policies for guarantees and after-sale services in China on March 15, or the International Day for Protecting Consumers’ Rights.

Latest News
Apple shrugs off China policy bash
Apple Inc said on March 23 that while its after-sale services in China are somewhat different from those in other countries, they comply with Chinese laws, the company’s response to domestic media reports saying that Apple is treating Chinese consumers unfairly.

Apple’s double standards:
In China, Apple after-sale service centers only replace certain parts on defective iPhones during the repair process.

In other countries like the US and UK, the company promises to provide a completely new product during the one-year warranty period if the product has quality issues.

In China, the company only promises to repair iPads within one year after purchase, while the warranty period should be two years, according to China’s law for computer sales.

Apple’s response:
Apple Inc said on March 23 that while its after-sale services in China are somewhat different from those in other countries, they comply with Chinese laws, the company’s response to domestic media reports saying that Apple is treating Chinese consumers unfairly.

The company posted a statement on its website pledging to replace all parts but the cover if an iPhone 4 or 4S has quality issues within the warranty period, and to replace all defective iPhone 5s entirely because of the model’s special design.


Chinese Media

●People’s Daily
Where does Apple’s capital lie when it treats its oriental customers so differently? On one hand, the traditional sense of Western superiority affects Apple, making it unwilling to provide Asian developing countries with after-sales service for high-tech products; on the other hand, the interests-oriented nature of capital is driving Apple crazy, as it will not lose any profit even it displeases Chinese customers.

Therefore, only enhancing market and regulation supervision can protect Chinese customers’ rights, as Apple will only follow the rules when it pays a high cost for offending customers.

●Global Times
Qiu Baochang, president of the legal panel of the China Consumers’ Association
Apple should not apply discriminatory practices in China despite those concerns, since the company claimed to provide a high standard of after-sale services to Chinese consumers in Saturday’s statement, Qiu Baochang, president of the legal panel of the China Consumers’ Association, told the Global Times on March 24.

Qiu added that the company is not solving the issue by offering better after-sale services for the iPhone 5 than the iPhone 4 and 4s, and that such a move could even be seen as a marketing plus for the iPhone 5.

He pointed out that the company’s statement only mentions iPhones and does not address allegations of violating Chinese laws in terms of repairing iPads.

●Beijing Times
Yan Nong, a commentator
While Chinese regulators have come forward to criticize Apple, they should also acknowledge that legal protections covering Chinese consumers are still weak. This essentially creates an environment where retailers can put their own interests ahead of what their customers want.

Guan Haitao
Apple, lacking customer support as a result of its reputation being damaged, will definitely pay a high cost in Chinese market –just to think China’s top-three position on the global GDP list. When it loses China’s market, Apple will still be Apple, but undoubtedly will not be a tasty Apple.

If Apple pays little attention to Chinese customers, they will naturally refuse its products. For Apple, following KFC’s lesson, it’s not hard to make a right choice.


Li Ming, a 28-year-old Apple fan in Beijing who has bought several iPhones and iPads
“The statement was completely meaningless, but that was expected.”

A user surnamed Bi quoted by the CCTV report as saying
“An employee at an Apple after-sale center told me that they will never change the clauses, because they are Apple.”

Ji Chendong, a senior IT consultant at auditor KPMG (China)
“Any international enterprise must pay attention to local laws and regulations, as well the user experience, and modify its localization policies.”

@扬扬扬扬1, a web user who uses Apple products
I am still using Apple products. The quality is good and Apple’s after-sale services are much better than that of domestic companies. I will buy products of other companies if I am not satisfied with Apple’s service one day. Costumers are free to choose what they think is best.

Check out the Global Times site devoted to the issue here.


Filed under: Advertising, Apple, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

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