Thursday, 28 March 2013

China Wages War on Apple

The Apple store in Shanghai's IFC Mall against the Pudong skyline
The Chinese government through its state media is out to get Apple.

First it was CCTV to criticize the multinational tech company and now it's People's Daily turn with the headline, "Let's strike away Apple's unparallelled arrogance".

The editorial asked if the US-based company doubted whether "a developing ancient oriental country deserves the same customer service as Western counterparts".

The allegations came after a CCTV report claimed Apple offered shorter guarantees to Chinese iPhone users than those in other countries.

However the campaign's effectiveness came into question when it was suggested CCTV encouraged celebrities to join in the chorus through Sina Weibo to attack Apple.

Taiwanese actor Peter Ho was one who also gave his two cents' worth, claiming he was "hurt" by Apple's actions in China... but then he forgot to delete the last sentence which read "Post around 8.20pm".

He later claimed he didn't send the message, hinting perhaps his Weibo account was hijacked, but Weibo readers knew better and instead channeled their fury towards CCTV.

Meanwhile Apple has denied imposing double standards on Chinese customers using iPhones, and claimed its practices were "completely legal", but this did not please the mainland authorities, hence further attacks from People's Daily.

The editorial blamed the "greediness of capital" and said Apple had "gone crazy" in its pursuit of profits.

"If offending Chinese customers reduces cost for Apple at zero risk, why not?" the article asked sarcastically.

However, the attack campaign has done little to shift Apple fans' allegiances.

Miao Wei, head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Monday that even though Chinese phone makers have produced an excessive number of phones people were "lining up all night long" to buy the latest iPhone.

He admitted there was still room for innovation to be competitive with Apple... but for China to catch up, that will take a while...

As for the campaign of attacks, Chinese people online were less than pleased.

"It is People's Daily who's being arrogant," said one. "They've lost by criticizing Apple with Cultural Revolution-style language."

"Talking about arrogance," said another, "how about these state-owned Chinese behemoths?"

Others speculated possible reasons for the attacks with one saying, "Apple only advertised with local TV stations, but not CCTV, that's why."

Another said, "Maybe Apple hasn't been paying their protection fees?"

And speaking of iPhones, according to the Beijing Times yesterday, the authorities in the Chinese capital are cracking down on vendors who they claim are illegally selling paper models of the iPhone 5 to people preparing for next week's Qing Ming grave-sweeping festival.

Typically on this day (this year April 4), families bring offerings of fruit, flowers to the graves of loved ones and burn "hell money" as well as other favourite items made of paper from clothes to cars to send to heaven.

Again it just show how paranoid officials are about Apple and resent its popularity in China.

It is Apple's fault its products are considered so cool?

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