Apple's Chinese Apple Care webpage. | Source: Apple
The People's Daily newspaper ran a front-page story deriding Apple's usual tight-lipped public relations procedures, which denied Chinese journalists' calls for interviews regarding a recent hit piece aired by the state-run China Central Television, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The television broadcast, seen by some as a smear campaign against Apple, accused the company of being "biased against Chinese consumers in its warranty and consumer service policies" by fixing faulty products instead of issuing new devices as it does in other countries.
After the piece aired, a number of Chinese notables voiced their outrage on the popular Weibo microblogging service. However, the anti-Apple messages were possibly orchestrated as a post by local celebrity Peter Ho included what appeared to be instructions on when to put up his vitriolic message.
Apple issued a response to the CCTV spot on its Chinese website, saying that it operates under China's rules and regulations.
"Apple's Chinese warranty is more or less the same as in the U.S. and all over the world," the statement said.
China is seen as a huge growth opportunity for Apple, so much so that the country was broken out as its own business segment for the first time ever in the company's latest quarterly conference call. The Greater China region saw revenues up 67 percent year over year and is expected to outperform the U.S. as Apple's biggest market in the coming months.