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China's state media attack on Apple appears to have backfired

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
A report by the state-run China Central Television that intended to smear Apple as bad for consumers has instead harmed the network's remaining credibility after a local celebrity apparently flubbed his lines when posting phony outrage as a disgruntled "Apple fan."

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal "China Real Time Report" blog, the Communist Party's CCTV initially aired a "Consumer Rights Day" broadcast on March 15th that celebrated consumer power, complete with song and dance routines.

The broadcast mixed in accusations that Apple was "biased against Chinese consumers in its warranty and customer service policies," along with implications that Volkswagen was selling defective cars in China.

Post around 820


Following the 3/15 CCTV broadcast, a message posted to the Sina Weibo (China's version of Twitter) account of Taiwanese-American actor (and reportedly a spokesman for Samsung's Galaxy products) Peter Ho stated, with the hash tag "#315 on the move" (a reference to the broadcast):

"Cannot believe Apple is playing so many dirty tricks in customer service. As an Apple fan, I feel hurt. Won?t you [Apple] feel ashamed in front of Steve Jobs? Won?t you feel ashamed in front of those young people who sell their kidneys for your products? You dare to bully consumers simply because you are a famous brand. Need to send out at about 8:20 pm."

Users on Weibo immediately noted a series of negative messages posted at 8:20pm by several Weibo celebrities. Somewhat ironically, apparently all of the prominent 8:20 posts (including Ho's) were posted using Apple products, either an iPhone or iPad (below).

Post around 820


The orchestrated posts kicked off speculation that Ho and other prominent Weibo users had been supplied with talking points (and likely paid) as part of a state sponsored effort to spread CCTV's propaganda via social networking.

Ho subsequently denied posting the message, then added that he suspected that his account had been hacked, then eventually deleted all three posts from the Twitter-like service. A backlash of critical posts then followed, popularizing the hashtag #PostAround820 until the microblogging service began censoring the tag.

"I?ve heard that CCTV asked several Weibo celebrities to post negative things about Apple around 8:20," one user posted, "As a result, Mr. Liu, Zheng Yuanjie, and their compatriots were outed by Peter Ho?s post at 8:20, so now Peter Ho is pretending his phone was stolen and someone posted on his Weibo, and deleting comments on his Weibo as fast as lightning. Tens of thousands of comments have been trimmed down to a couple thousand."

"Would the all-powerful CCTV please tell us which brands haven?t discriminated against the people of this Heavenly Kingdom? Post around 8:20," another user sarcastically posted in response.

Another wrote, "The 3.15 consumer right show is much more disgusting than the companies it exposed. At least Apple still offers post-sale customer service. How about those victims of Sanlu?s toxic baby powder? Has anyone taken care of them?"

One "vocal critic on Weibo" commented: "Which exposed company is the most surprising to you on this year?s 3.15? My answer is: the state-run television of our country, which turned a blind eye to the thousands of dead pigs floating on the water source of the country?s biggest city, but put all emphasis on a cell phone company who doesn?t replace back cover for its customers. I don?t know where the heart of this country go.""The only party poised to gain from the scandal, it seems, is Apple, for whom CCTV?s consumer rights expose may prove a blessing in disguise"

A report by journalist Liz Carter, who reports on Chinese social networking, stated "the 8:20 incident has already been picked up by every major Chinese news organization, and is sure to be a public relations nightmare for the celebrities, CCTV, and Sina Weibo. The only party poised to gain from the scandal, it seems, is Apple, for whom CCTV?s consumer rights expose may prove a blessing in disguise."

The Wall Street Journal stated that "the reaction on Weibo points to rising mistrust of the country?s state-run media outlets among Chinese Internet users, who have increasing access to alternate sources of information via social media."

"News gathering in China, where censorship is a norm and freedom of the press is limited at best, is frequently mired in corruption," the report noted, adding that "Stories are often driven by financial incentives or government directives. CCTV has been particularly aggressive in its annual Consumer Rights Day reports, including last year when it slammed McDonald?s Corp. with damaging allegations the fast food giant sold food that servers had dropped on the floor."

CCTV has previously been criticized for offering thinly veiled propaganda as news; two years ago the network's news program profiled the Chinese-built Chengdu J-10, depicting it targeting and destroying another plane with a missile.

The targeted plane in the video clip was later identified as being a US fighter jet, and the entire video sequence ended up actually being footage taken from the 1986 movie "Top Gun."

China has shown a tremendous appetite for Apple's products, resulting in such a massive expansion of the company's Mac and iOS sales in the region that the company recently changed how it reports revenue to highlight the growth in the Greater China region.
post #2 of 38
The Dictatorship Party is afraid of Apple?
I guess so.

Nah!
post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post


The Dictatorship Party is afraid of Apple?
I guess so.

Nah!

Totally uncalled for!!! It's the democratically elected dictatorship party⸮
post #4 of 38
Apparently nothing is real in china lol
post #5 of 38
The irony of an establishment outlet (WSJ) blasting another establishment outlet (CCTV) for putting out propaganda.
post #6 of 38

And some people claim there aren't paid anti-Apple shills… 

post #7 of 38
You mean the Chinese social media users are savvy enough to identify State-sponsored anti-Apple concern trolling when they see it?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And some people claim there aren't paid anti-Apple shills… 

That guy who posted RIM's "WAKE UP" flash mob performance video on YouTube (and knew ahead of time it would take place) swears up and down on a stack of holy books that he's not a paid shill for RIM.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #9 of 38
I wouldn't be surprised if most of the so called outraged "Apple-fans" attacking the company on the internet are also bought and paid for.
post #10 of 38
I read in another article that the CCTV show claimed that in other countries, but not China, when a iPhone breaks, the owners get a warranty reset, ie another year from the date it gets fixed.

CCTV obviously didn't do any research.

If that was true, everyone would be purposely breaking iPhones every 11.5 months.

There were also claims that CCTV uses the threat of exposure on the 3/15 program as a way to get advertising from soon to be exposed companies, usually foreign ones.

Blackmail China style
post #11 of 38

I have [insert Apple product here] and [cite news article here] I [give personal example of same issue] and I am afraid I will be selling my [list Apple products here] and will be buying [insert competitors product here] because [insert glowing review of competitor product here including negative Apple saying of the day].

 

[Post to Appleinsider at x:xx]

 

Nah, I just can't see it happening.

 

/s

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I wouldn't be surprised if most of the so called outraged "Apple-fans" attacking the company on the internet are also bought and paid for.


Hmm, I thought Apple fans were supposed to be a Cult? Mindless iSheep?


You mean we iSheep can get paid? Sign me up 1smile.gif

Are iSheep a cult or are they paid, you can't have it both ways 1wink.gif
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I wouldn't be surprised if most of the so called outraged "Apple-fans" attacking the company on the internet are also bought and paid for.

 

 

 

Watch out, people will start thinking you are a conspiracy theorist if you start saying things like that :)

 

I think it would be naive to think that social media manipulation is not widespread. You can pretty much guarantee that SamDung uses such techniques.

 

Before anyone starts on me, I don't think every anti-Apple post on the net is some kind of propaganda! But I think you would be foolish to believe we live in a world without such 'underhand' tactics.

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And some people claim there aren't paid anti-Apple shills… 

I read a few Chinese articles about this incident. Couldn't stop laughing.

In a gist, people suspect/believe that the mastermind is Samsung because Peter Ho is one of their spokespersons as early as last September. Before this incident broke out, there was already a rumor about a few celebs and big time bloggers "bought" to smear Apple. Unfortunately, the "Post @ 8:20" note got included into the blog text, causing widespread suspicions, especially when other negative posts were launched at about the same time.

Netizens are now mocking CCTV, Peter Ho and the participating bloggers. e.g.,

"We are not afraid of a God-like opponent, but we are afraid of our own pigheaded comrades"

"Damn Peter Ho knows how to collect money but doesn't know how to post properly"

etc.

Whatever the truth is, it is rather comical now.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And some people claim there aren't paid anti-Apple shills… 

 

They aren't paid.

 

They just aren't executed.

 

1wink.gif

I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post

If that was true, everyone would be purposely breaking iPhones every 11.5 months.

 

That's bullshit.

 

It would be occurring every 11.9 months.

 

1wink.gif

I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
Reply
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsu View Post


I read a few Chinese articles about this incident. Couldn't stop laughing.

In a gist, people suspect/believe that the mastermind is Samsung because Peter Ho is one of their spokespersons as early as last September. Before this incident broke out, there was already a rumor about a few celebs and big time bloggers "bought" to smear Apple. Unfortunately, the "Post @ 8:20" note got included into the blog text, causing widespread suspicions, especially when other negative posts were launched at about the same time.

Netizens are now mocking CCTV, Peter Ho and the participating bloggers. e.g.,

"We are not afraid of a God-like opponent, but we are afraid of our own pigheaded comrades"

"Damn Peter Ho knows how to collect money but doesn't know how to post properly"

etc.

Whatever the truth is, it is rather comical now.

Without further evidence, I believe this is the Chinese government doing. To rally people for something else (foreigner's greed, nationalism) instead of what they are supposed to focus (freedom). Notice it's not all about Apple but foreign corporations.

post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I have [insert Apple product here] and [cite news article here] I [give personal example of same issue] and I am afraid I will be selling my [list Apple products here] and will be buying [insert competitors product here] because [insert glowing review of competitor product here including negative Apple saying of the day].

 

我有[插入苹果的产品在这里]和[引用新闻文章][给个人的例子,同样的问题,我怕我会卖我的[列表苹果产品的这里,将这里购买[插入竞争对手的产品],因为[插入竞争对手的产品在这里发光的回顾,包括负面的苹果说的一天]。

 

Fixed that for you (in regards to this story).

I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
Reply
I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
Reply
post #19 of 38
da BigBrother is in every where!
not just a government but corporation with money and power!!
people must beware of any and all media... it's gonna be stressful times ahead.
live & let live
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live & let live
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post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Without further evidence, I believe this is the Chinese government doing. To rally people for something else (foreigner's greed, nationalism) instead of what they are supposed to focus (freedom). Notice it's not all about Apple but foreign corporations.

You are free to believe what you want. You have no proof too. ^_^

The Chinese should know their systems and CCTV better than us. I'll just read their comments for fun.
post #21 of 38
It's becoming globally fashionable to bas Apple...
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

The Dictatorship Party is afraid of Apple?
I guess so.

Nah!

China Gov is just jealous of Apple's success.

Also afraid Apple is becoming a religious or political power in China.

 

Of course this simply shows the China Gov is terrified of China people thinking independently.

The only thing the China Gov should fear, IS THEMSELVES !!!

post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

You mean the Chinese social media users are savvy enough to identify State-sponsored anti-Apple concern trolling when they see it?

Indeed American readers are not savvy enough; and are deluded to believe our media is more honest; and constantly repeat here-say and bought-and-paid-for BS (analysts) as fact.
post #24 of 38

You can be sure that Samsung, a major advertiser on CCTV, was also behind this as it was their paid spokespeople involved. They are truly a scumbag company.


Edited by FreeRange - 3/19/13 at 4:34am
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Without further evidence, I believe this is the Chinese government doing. To rally people for something else (foreigner's greed, nationalism) instead of what they are supposed to focus (freedom). Notice it's not all about Apple but foreign corporations.

 

nonsense - as a major CCTV advertiser they most assuredly had advance knowledge of the show and used their paid spokespeople to spread their evil - it would be naive to believe otherwise with this blatantly and pathetically immoral company

post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And some people claim there aren't paid anti-Apple shills… 

So at the same time you discourage shill tags at AI you also encourage shill talk. No wonder certain members feel free to use it like milk for cereal. Consistency would be nice.

 

As far as this specific incident, does anything get broadcast on state-run China Central that isn't in agreement with official Chinese government policy? I think that should make it fairly clear who wants to be sure Apple toes the line. But that's just me, and I'm no Samsung supporter as a rule.


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/19/13 at 5:02am
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #27 of 38

This is such a bizarre story.

 

Just... why?  What was the point?

censored

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censored

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post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

So at the same time you discourage shill tags at AI you also encourage shill talk. No wonder certain members feel free to use it like milk for cereal. Consistency would be nice.

As far as this specific incident, does anything get broadcast on state-run China Central that isn't in agreement with official Chinese government policy? I think that should make it fairly clear who wants to be sure Apple toes the line. But that's just me, and I'm no Samsung supporter as a rule.

CCTV should be able to broadcast anything as long as it doesn't offend the party. They don't always have a party agenda. They don't really need to "buy" support from the celebs to hype an episode though. Apple's name and CCTV's reach should be more than enough. Perhaps someone is over eager to stop Apple. ^_^
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

China Gov is just jealous of Apple's success.

Also afraid Apple is becoming a religious or political power in China.

 

Of course this simply shows the China Gov is terrified of China people thinking independently.

The only thing the China Gov should fear, IS THEMSELVES !!!

 

Not so in this case.  Apple's warranty and service rules can indeed be considered deficient according to Chinese law on such matters.  Chinese law requires a reset of warranty period when the customer is given a replacement product when the original was brought in for service.  The law also requires that the replacement product has to be new, not refurbished  Apple's rule does not conform to these requirements.

 

This is no different than European countries suing Apple to have the warranty period extended according to their laws.  All of you harping on this because it's coming from Chinese government are just showing your bias and prejudice.

post #30 of 38

Funny because in China on CCTV they run infomercials promoting their own iPhone-like device where they blatantly copied iPhone's build and design and they promote how it has Siri-like features and FaceTime, but looks like cheap plastic. All for I think ¥299 RMB ($48) or something. 

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

Not so in this case.  Apple's warranty and service rules can indeed be considered deficient according to Chinese law on such matters.  Chinese law requires a reset of warranty period when the customer is given a replacement product when the original was brought in for service.  The law also requires that the replacement product has to be new, not refurbished  Apple's rule does not conform to these requirements.

This is no different than European countries suing Apple to have the warranty period extended according to their laws.  All of you harping on this because it's coming from Chinese government are just showing your bias and prejudice.

I bought electronics and bags from China. None of the makers honor the regulations. If the government want to enforce them, they should impose the regulations on all companies uniformly.

They should also target the bootleg products and fake food/beverages on the market.
Edited by patsu - 3/19/13 at 7:33am
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

So at the same time you discourage shill tags at AI you also encourage shill talk. No wonder certain members feel free to use it like milk for cereal. Consistency would be nice.

 

As far as this specific incident, does anything get broadcast on state-run China Central that isn't in agreement with official Chinese government policy? I think that should make it fairly clear who wants to be sure Apple toes the line. But that's just me, and I'm no Samsung supporter as a rule.

 

It's not surprising to see you denying the existence of shills. Funny, but not surprising. Just make sure you don't flub your lines.

post #33 of 38
So THAT'S where Samsung has been spending all those marketing dollars. Come on Apple! You're falling behind on the spending compared to them!! Innovate like Samsung!
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And some people claim there aren't paid anti-Apple shills… 


How dare you insinuate such an outrageous insult !!  /s

post #35 of 38
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
I have [insert Apple product here] and [cite news article here] I [give personal example of same issue] and I am afraid I will be selling my [list Apple products here] and will be buying [insert competitors product here] because [insert glowing review of competitor product here including negative Apple saying of the day].

 

[Post to Appleinsider at x:xx]

 

Nah, I just can't see it happening.

 

Humorously enough, there's a prevalent set of spambots here whose code is screwed up. They wind up writing a string of their code to their biography section, so it looks something like "]; is_human=2; post(" lol.gif


Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
So at the same time you discourage shill tags at AI you also encourage shill talk. No wonder certain members feel free to use it like milk for cereal. Consistency would be nice.

 

There's quite a difference between claiming a user is a shill and acknowledging the existence thereof.

 

It's the difference between saying "The people that use [device] are idiots" and "You are an idiot for using [device]".

post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Humorously enough, there's a prevalent set of spambots here whose code is screwed up. They wind up writing a string of their code to their biography section, so it looks something like "]; is_human=2; post(" lol.gif

 

There's quite a difference between claiming a user is a shill and acknowledging the existence thereof.

 

It's the difference between saying "The people that use [device] are idiots" and "You are an idiot for using [device]".

Agreed, except that as the mod who asked for the shill claims to stop it wasn't a great idea for you personally to raise the issue. Let someone else do it. . .

and they will.

 

Around here it sometimes seems like trying to deal with a room full of testosterone-filled junior high boys. If it looks to them like a mixed message then it's probably taken that way.

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #37 of 38

I love it when social networking backfires in the originators face!   Regardless of the state propaganda and faceless organizations, their intended goals are hijacked and mocked by netizens.  It's like watching them slip on a banana peel or get a pie in the face.  Priceless!!!  Reminds me of the idiocy of Bestbuy, when layed off employee takes to their company twitter and their PR people can't shut it off.  Comical!!!

post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Around here it sometimes seems like trying to deal with a room full of testosterone-filled junior high boys. If it looks to them like a mixed message then it's probably taken that way.

A room full of testosterone filled junior high boys and a couple of creepy middle-aged corporate recruiters.
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