or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple's apology turns caustic Chinese press into cheerleaders
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple's apology turns caustic Chinese press into cheerleaders

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Just one day is all it took for state-run media outlets in China to sidle up to Apple after decrying the company's supposedly harmful after-sales practices, with the flip-flop in rhetoric spurred by CEO Tim Cook's apology letter on Monday.

According to Reuters, the same newspapers that attacked Apple have come to laud its chief executive's proactive measures ? a rare apology letter issued in a distinct departure from the traditionally tight-lipped company.

Tim Cook


"The company's apology letter has eased the situation, softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market," popular tabloid the Global Times said. "Its reaction is worth respect compared with other American companies." The paper is an offshoot of Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily.

Even the Foreign Ministry gave a nod to Apple's actions in light of the one-way mud slinging, saying the tech giant "conscientiously" responded to consumers' demands.

"We approve of what Apple said," ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

With China being Apple's second-largest market, expected to soon become its biggest with smartphone sales booming, the company was likely looking to put the brakes on the Chinese government's media machine. It was estimated on Monday that the state-run media barrage could cost the iPhone maker some $13 billion in sales.

The anti-Apple campaign began with a China Central Television broadcast meant to spark discontent among Chinese consumers over after-sales service supposedly "biased against Chinese consumers in its warranty and consumer service policies." Following a nearly rote response from Apple PR, the People's Daily dug in with a disparaging front-page story about the company's reluctance to meet with press over the matter.

On Monday, Apple posted Cook's lengthy apology letter on its webpage, clarifying warranty practices and enhancing repair policies regarding the iPhone 4 and 4S. Perhaps most important to the Chinese government, and by extension its media, was the acknowledgment that Apple's lack of transparency could lead to "misunderstandings," for which Cook offered his "sincere apologies."
post #2 of 47
Way to Go TC...

Now we need China Mobile to sell the iDevices please.

Go Apple.
post #3 of 47
Shows you how important China is to Apple. Who else has Apple grovelled to?
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Shows you how important China is to Apple. Who else has Apple grovelled to?

 

Just what I was thinking.  When it comes to the US Gov Apple's attitude is "we'll see you in court".  TC is smart enough to know where growth lies and who needs pandering to and who doesn't.

post #5 of 47
In the last few weeks we had Italy and now China. I believe that last year, there was another European country that brought charges against them by not clarifying the required warranty by law, for their products and instead pushing their Apple Care.

I am no fan of extended warranties and do believe that for products such as iPhone, it should be required by law, that the manufacturer guaranties its product for at least the duration of a contract, that would be 2 years in most countries.

Apple can be a pioneer in this area and offer at least two years for devices such as iPhone, iPad off the bat. This may not please stockholders but judging from the last few months, nothing short of total market domination would.
post #6 of 47
Wall Street doesn't care about that. They sank AAPL yesterday on bad news and will not react to positive. They have simply decided to make profits on any other stock except Apple until further notice.
post #7 of 47
When dealing with the Chinese, it's all about showing honor... And cold hard cash💰💰💰
post #8 of 47
Last time when TC had to do an apology, someone lost his job. Wonder if we will see this pattern repeat itself?
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Shows you how important China is to Apple. Who else has Apple grovelled to?

Nonsense.

What about Antennagate? What about Mapgate?
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #10 of 47
I think China has just highlighted Apple advantages: durability, support and service. Apple could set a new bar by extending its warranties to 2 years. It'll impact the bottom line, but it will put competitors phones and policies in a tough spot.

If they follow with 2 yr policies, Apple's strengths will become more important in purchase decisions. Also, iOS sw upgrades vs Android's lack of upgrades will be spotlighted along with the fragmentation issue in Androidville.

I see a win win for Apple if they do this.
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Nonsense.

What about Antennagate? What about Mapgate?

What about the front gate!

post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Shows you how important China is to Apple. Who else has Apple grovelled to?

 

Perhaps Apple was in the wrong in this case? Antenna gate was Steve's take on an apology. This is Tim's.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #13 of 47

Reading this just makes me want to vomit.  I suppose the stock will get back some of the losses from yesterday because now China likes Apple again. 1rolleyes.gif

post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

 

Perhaps Apple was in the wrong in this case? Antenna gate was Steve's take on an apology. This is Tim's.

iPhone 4 antenna issues where Apple apologised and gave out free bumpers?

post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

 

Just what I was thinking.  When it comes to the US Gov Apple's attitude is "we'll see you in court".  TC is smart enough to know where growth lies and who needs pandering to and who doesn't.

 

This has nothing to do with the relative importance of the Chinese and US markets -- both are very important. It has everything to do with the political and legal systems in the two countries. In the US, there's a fair court to go to (as there is in the EU and UK). That doesn't exist in China. 

 

TC handled this very deftly. It was exactly the right thing to do in China. 

 

But it would be very interesting to know what was behind this attack on Apple in China. What was the *real* issue here? My guess is that there's some arm of the Chinese government whose job is to look out for any entity -- particularly foreign entities -- that are becoming too popular and might one day pose some kind of threat (however distant) to the Chinese government. My guess is that somebody in that bureaucracy identified Apple as a threat.  TC's letter showed the required deference and so this particular set of bureaucrats can now go bother somebody else. 

 

But TC's letter might have also illustrated that Apple is not the typically naive American company. This is the right way to handle this sort of thing in China. It actually makes Apple stronger, not weaker, because it shows the Chinese government that Apple understands what the bounds are in China and respects them (unlike Google). This could be a very big win for Apple longer term. 

post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

Just what I was thinking.  When it comes to the US Gov Apple's attitude is "we'll see you in court".  TC is smart enough to know where growth lies and who needs pandering to and who doesn't.

The US doesn't own the media.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Ginger View Post

iPhone 4 antenna issues where Apple apologised and gave out free bumpers?

Jobs did not apologize. In fact, he said there was no design flaw, and all phones were afflicted with the issue.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Ginger View Post

iPhone 4 antenna issues where Apple apologised and gave out free bumpers?

Apple gave out free bumpers, claiming there was no problem.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

 

This has nothing to do with the relative importance of the Chinese and US markets -- both are very important. It has everything to do with the political and legal systems in the two countries. In the US, there's a fair court to go to (as there is in the EU and UK). That doesn't exist in China. 

 

TC handled this very deftly. It was exactly the right thing to do in China. 

 

But it would be very interesting to know what was behind this attack on Apple in China. What was the *real* issue here? My guess is that there's some arm of the Chinese government whose job is to look out for any entity -- particularly foreign entities -- that are becoming too popular and might one day pose some kind of threat (however distant) to the Chinese government. My guess is that somebody in that bureaucracy identified Apple as a threat.  TC's letter showed the required deference and so this particular set of bureaucrats can now go bother somebody else. 

 

But TC's letter might have also illustrated that Apple is not the typically naive American company. This is the right way to handle this sort of thing in China. It actually makes Apple stronger, not weaker, because it shows the Chinese government that Apple understands what the bounds are in China and respects them (unlike Google). This could be a very big win for Apple longer term. 

A interesting view. I'm still sad TC did not tell China to go f*** themselves, pull out all the manufacturing and contracts and sales and just decide to ignore china, but I guess it would require bigger balls than anyone on Earth can possibly have ^^

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Perhaps Apple was in the wrong in this case? Antenna gate was Steve's take on an apology. This is Tim's.

Yes, except Jobs didn't apologize. He came out with a whole bunch of statistics to show how the iPhone 4 was experiencing less dropped calls then previous models, and how other phones had similar phone designs. He had the Jonathan Mann iPhone song on in the background. Apple gave the bumpers away to shut the media up. It worked.
post #21 of 47

SJ would never apologize.  Good job TC.

post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

A interesting view. I'm still sad TC did not tell China to go f*** themselves, pull out all the manufacturing and contracts and sales and just decide to ignore china, but I guess it would require bigger balls than anyone on Earth can possibly have ^^


That would be the knee jerk reaction.

Reality is, China will soon overtake the US and become Apple's largest market. You don't just tell them to f*** off.

Another reality is, that only in China can they manufacture millions upon millions of iDevices every year at the cost that Apple and other manufacturers are accustomed to. It will take years for any other counrty to reach China's manufacturing capacity.

Another dose of reality would be China's hold on the rare earth metals market.

post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Shows you how important China is to Apple. Who else has Apple grovelled to?

 

Groveling takes different forms in different environments. In the US, it means "lobbying", if you know what I mean. In China, it means responding to state requests for "humility", if you know what I mean.

post #24 of 47

It's only our macho pride that thinks this apology is a bad thing.    I think Apple's arrogance has always caused them to think that their way of doing things can override local laws in any country.   Even though the Chinese media barrage was obviously triggered by the  Chinese Government (Apple probably pissed some official off), there was at least some merit to their claims.

 

Apple issuing a piece of paper has probably save them several $billion in sales.    There is no way Apple (or any company) was going to walk away from the Chinese market or threaten to stop manufacturing there (although I would have loved to have seen that).   So under the circumstances, it was absolutely the right thing to do.  It cost Apple next to nothing.

post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Ginger View Post

iPhone 4 antenna issues where Apple apologised and gave out free bumpers?

 

Yes.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


Yes, except Jobs didn't apologise.

 

That was my point. Jobs didn't apologise. Even Gruber said they way Jobs handled the situation wasn't good. Jobs had a tone through the whole thing like he was blaming his customers. It rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. He could have handled it better. If anything, the way he handled the situation hurt Apple's image a little. It's forgotten by now for the most part, but that's thanks merely to time and new units yearly. Tim handle this far better IMO.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

It's only our macho pride that thinks this apology is a bad thing.

 

I think it's a good thing. And it shows Tim is a leader.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

There is no way Apple (or any company) was going to walk away from the Chinese market or threaten to stop manufacturing there (although I would have loved to have seen that).

 

Threaten to stop manufactering in China? That's a good one.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Shows you how important China is to Apple. Who else has Apple grovelled to?

 

Every user on iOS 6

 

a few years back, everyone with an iPhone 4, even though maybe 1/10th of a percent of folks in the US and fewer outside it where having issues

 

Apple didn't really change anything. They don't replace whole phones in any country when only one replaceable part is broken, at least not as official policy (if some store is playing by its own rules that'll a different matter). Chinese warranty laws likely say that they have to give a one year warranty to any replaced part. Which means if you blow out your speaker and they install a new speaker, the speaker is covered for a year, not everything in the phone. Which is fair and reasonable.

 

the only 'big' thing they did was a formal and published way to send them feedback about authorized third party shops. 

 

And their apology about any misunderstandings, which reads more like they just called most of China stupid for not looking up the policies. But worded in a way that sort folks won't figure out they were just insulted. And yet by saying anything China can claim a victory and shut up folks complaining to them and demanding they do something. Same as much of the EU where there were no actual suits about someone being denied a proper claim, but a lot of folks that don't know their own laws (anymore than they say the Apple staff does)

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

A interesting view. I'm still sad TC did not tell China to go f*** themselves, pull out all the manufacturing and contracts and sales and just decide to ignore china, but I guess it would require bigger balls than anyone on Earth can possibly have ^^

 

Three words: rare earth metals. At the moment China has the biggest cache and they refuse to export them in pure form. You want them, you have to build the parts in China. And basically every logic, graphics etc board requires them. So until Japan has their newly discovered pile out of the ground or DNA computing is usable on a major scale, no one can kiss off China

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #31 of 47

There's an old saying; it starts:  When in Rome...

post #32 of 47

It was a very deft move and likely garnered Apple a lot of good will within the CCP.  The party had egg on it's face after the tweet debacle and Apple's letter allows the state media to claim victory and save face.

post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Three words: rare earth metals. At the moment China has the biggest cache and they refuse to export them in pure form. You want them, you have to build the parts in China. And basically every logic, graphics etc board requires them. So until Japan has their newly discovered pile out of the ground or DNA computing is usable on a major scale, no one can kiss off China

The US and many other countries have rare earth metals, but as it stands from an economic perspective it is cheaper to build your parts in China than to do open pit mining and the environmental clean up. If the costs get too high economically or politically the US will expand mining again. In fact Mountain Pass, California has recently reopened their rare earth mining operation.

 

Every LED, like the ones used for modern automobile signaling/break lights requires rare earth metals to manufacture. I'm not sure about graphic boards as you mention but the manufacture of computer display screens is among the major uses of rare earth metals.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

 

This has nothing to do with the relative importance of the Chinese and US markets -- both are very important. It has everything to do with the political and legal systems in the two countries. In the US, there's a fair court to go to (as there is in the EU and UK). That doesn't exist in China. 

 

TC handled this very deftly. It was exactly the right thing to do in China. 

 

But it would be very interesting to know what was behind this attack on Apple in China. What was the *real* issue here? My guess is that there's some arm of the Chinese government whose job is to look out for any entity -- particularly foreign entities -- that are becoming too popular and might one day pose some kind of threat (however distant) to the Chinese government. My guess is that somebody in that bureaucracy identified Apple as a threat.  TC's letter showed the required deference and so this particular set of bureaucrats can now go bother somebody else. 

 

But TC's letter might have also illustrated that Apple is not the typically naive American company. This is the right way to handle this sort of thing in China. It actually makes Apple stronger, not weaker, because it shows the Chinese government that Apple understands what the bounds are in China and respects them (unlike Google). This could be a very big win for Apple longer term. 

A interesting view. I'm still sad TC did not tell China to go f*** themselves, pull out all the manufacturing and contracts and sales and just decide to ignore china, but I guess it would require bigger balls than anyone on Earth can possibly have ^^

And a MUCH smaller brain than a person needs to be able to breathe. Taking your silly suggestion to its logical conclusion Apple would have to pull out not only from China, but from the entire EU, India, Brazil, Australia ... in fact any country that has it's own sovereign laws that don't match the US preconception of how the world should be. Would be great for Samsung though.

post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Quote:
A interesting view. I'm still sad TC did not tell China to go f*** themselves, pull out all the manufacturing and contracts and sales and just decide to ignore china, but I guess it would require bigger balls than anyone on Earth can possibly have ^^

[...] suggestion to its logical conclusion Apple would have to pull out not only from China, but from the entire EU, India, Brazil, Australia ... in fact any country that has it's own sovereign laws that don't match the US preconception of how the world should be. Would be great for Samsung though.

No I think the countries you mentioned all have free elections and laws similar to the US.

 

As huge as the Chinese black market is, so long as their citizens are interested in obtaining an iPhone, regardless of whether they were legal to sell there or not, they would probably find a way to acquire one. If they were not obtainable through legal sources, it would make them that much more of a status symbol to own. Might cost triple what we pay in the States but if it makes you look rich and important it is worth it. I have heard that there is some brand of cigarette sold in China that is really, really expensive and even people who don't smoke will buy them and display them on a table in a cafe just to look important. Is that true?

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #36 of 47
Having read Apple's apology and the response in China, it appears that Tim Cook et all did a very good job of understanding the country and responding in a way that is culturally and politically sophisticated. Only time will tell if Apple can be successful in the world's largest country and market over the long term. But what they've done so far certainly looks good.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Shows you how important China is to Apple. Who else has Apple grovelled to?

Better suck up to China than North Vietnam like Google did. Look what that has done for world peace.
post #38 of 47
Utterly bizarre.
post #39 of 47
Sorry, I meant North Korea not Vietnam.
post #40 of 47
Maybe Tim Cook should be Secretary of State. At least, he knows that you get nowhere with making your partners angry with you. Maybe we should try hardier to understand people and cultures.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple's apology turns caustic Chinese press into cheerleaders