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Tim Cook's apology to Chinese customers fully translated, published online

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
A translated version of Apple CEO Tim Cook's apology letter to Chinese customers over apparent after-sales service concerns was published on Thursday, giving deeper insight into the tech giant's tactics in the region.

Translated by Forbes contributor Laura He, Cook's letter apologizes for "misunderstandings" regarding Apple's warranty policies, while announcing new iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair initiatives specifically designed for China.

Tim Cook


As noted by He, Apple did not make an English version of the letter available, saying it was meant only for the Chinese market.

Selected portions of the translation:


Dear Chinese consumers:

Over the past two weeks, we have received a lot of feedback about Apple?s repair and warranty policy in China. We have made a profound reflection on these opinions, studied China?s ?Three Guarantees? regulations together with government authorities, examined how we communicate about our repair policy, and checked our management practice for Apple?s authorized service providers. We are aware that insufficient communications during this process has led to the perception that Apple is arrogant and disregard, or pays little attention to, consumer feedback. We express our sincere apologies for any concern or misunderstanding arising therefrom.

[?]

Meanwhile, we also realize that we still have a lot to learn on operating and communicating in China. Here, we assure you, Apple’s commitment and enthusiasm for China is not different than any other country. Our ideal is to give the best user experience and customer satisfaction, even more it is our promise. It has been deeply rooted in Apple?s corporate culture. We will make unremitting efforts to achieve this goal.

[?]

We realize that our website didn?t clarify the policy before. We hope the following statement can answer all the questions about the service provided by Apple.

Apple is making greater efforts to ensure Apple?s service providers to follow our policies and endeavor to offer consumers the highest quality service.

[?]

We will make unremitting efforts and continuous monitoring of Apple?s authorized service providers to make sure consumers get the highest quality service.

Now, it?s convenient to give feedback on service-related issues.

[?]

We give our heartfelt thanks to everyone for valuable feedback. We always bear immense respect for China and the Chinese consumers are always our priority among priorities.

Tim Cook

Apple CEO


Cook issued the letter, which was subsequently posted to the homepage of Apple's Chinese website, came after state-run media outlets lambasted the company for allegedly nefarious warranty practices. One day after the apology was posted, those same publications, as well as the Chinese Foreign Ministry, heaped praise on Apple for taking accountability.
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Meanwhile, we also realize that we still have a lot to learn on operating and communicating in China. Here, we assure you, Apple?s commitment and enthusiasm for China is not different than any other country. Our ideal is to give the best user experience and customer satisfaction, even more it is our promise. It has been deeply rooted in Apple?s corporate culture. We will make unremitting efforts to achieve this goal.

Not a bad letter, but this part should have been worded differently. There is still a mentality in China that they count more than anyone else. Treating them "no differently than any other country" is a step down for that culture.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #3 of 18
But no change to the whole 'replace with new phone and not just replace some parts' which they claimed is different than the rest of the world (it isn't). They are still doing modular repairs.

And no mention of the iPhone 5, is it not sold in China?

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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

Reply
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Not a bad letter, but this part should have been worded differently. There is still a mentality in China that they count more than anyone else. Treating them "no differently than any other country" is a step down for that culture.

 

!? Probably not, I think.

 

By necessity every company has to offer a slightly different experience in every country they operate in. I'm sure Apple strives to provide a uniform, excellent experience, but the culture, expectations, laws, business practices, and expectations are different everywhere. That's why Apples prices, policy, and practices can vary somewhat in every country.

post #5 of 18

I'm curious why there are so many ellipses in this translation. I wanted to see those parts. Is it just that the translator though Google Translate did a good enough translation on those parts?

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Dear Chinese consumers:

[?]
[?]
[?]
[?]

Tim Cook

Apple CEO

 

I f?ind this trans?lation ques?tionable.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

I'm curious why there are so many ellipses in this translation. I wanted to see those parts. Is it just that the translator though Google Translate did a good enough translation on those parts?

 

The Forbes link has the full text.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

I f?ind this trans?lation ques?tionable.

All posts on AI look like ????? to me in the forum. Text encoding issue maybe, not caring enough to figure it out. :)

post #9 of 18
A trifle verbose. How about something like.

Esteemed Comrades, I am truly unworthy of being being CEO of a company that has treated your robust, happy and athletic loyal subjects with such contempt,

He then pulls out a cartoon gun, points it at his head theatrically and to the gasps of the assembled media scrum surprised everybody and fires a small arrow that pierces his brain and hanging out the other side of his head is a red flag with 'BANG' in Comic Sans. As he keels over a gathering puddle of blood gently grows around his head to suitably patriotic music.
post #10 of 18
I find it ironic that china feels superior & wronged by the west or a capitalist company, yet they think nothing of copying, infringing on patents, copyright or labour laws.
It's funny how the communist economy is boosted by manufacturing of capitalist toys & electronic gadgets, yet the people themselves crave such items. Yet to get approval to be sold in that country companies have to go through many hoops & create a special version just for china so it's comrades can't surf the web like the rest of the world.
If they really don't like the product, just don't buy it.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastasleep View Post

All posts on AI look like ????? to me in the forum. Text encoding issue maybe, not caring enough to figure it out. 1smile.gif

Nobody can figure it out. This web thing has only been around for 22 years.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastasleep View Post

All posts on AI look like ????? to me in the forum. Text encoding issue maybe, not caring enough to figure it out. 1smile.gif

Post that here, maybe Huddler will fix it
Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
Reply
post #13 of 18
Where do
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigalmac View Post

I find it ironic that china feels superior & wronged by the west or a capitalist company, yet they think nothing of copying, infringing on patents, copyright or labour laws.
It's funny how the communist economy is boosted by manufacturing of capitalist toys & electronic gadgets, yet the people themselves crave such items. Yet to get approval to be sold in that country companies have to go through many hoops & create a special version just for china so it's comrades can't surf the web like the rest of the world.
If they really don't like the product, just don't buy it.

Seriously who do the Chinese public think they are. If anyone has ever dealt with some of their online retailers or wholesales they will understand what it is like trying in vain to get a return or refund on a faulty product.
And if anyone is to blame about product quality they should look in their own backyard. The iPhone is predominately made in China.
post #14 of 18
This apology will soon be available on iTunes, for $0.99 and in 3 different languages. No word yet on whether Amazon or Google will also distribute it. Samsung, however, is making it a promotional offering - buy 4S, I mean S4, and get Tim Cook's apology in 1080p for free.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
Tim Cooks apology to Chinese customers fully translated & published online
"but we (AI) will not show you this. We will show you only "selected portions"".
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Not a bad letter, but this part should have been worded differently. There is still a mentality in China that they count more than anyone else. Treating them "no differently than any other country" is a step down for that culture.

 

Now which body crevice did you pull that impression out of?

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

Now which body crevice did you pull that impression out of?

Oh, just 20 years of doing business in China.
"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 #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Not a bad letter, but this part should have been worded differently. There is still a mentality in China that they count more than anyone else. Treating them "no differently than any other country" is a step down for that culture.

Yes, I think historically they regarded themselves as the centre of the world (the Middle Kingdom) and all other cultures should come and pay respects. That's what this beat up feels like to me, a demand for some kind of recognition of that. So yes, Tim did stuff up with the "no different" comment.

 

But the founders of the US also did not think they were founding an ordinary country. They saw that it would inevitably grow to be the most powerful, and saw it as a opportunity not just for Americans, but for mankind, to found a country that would use that power to spread enlightenment, commerce and freedom, and end the endless human cycle of ignorance, poverty and dictatorship that had lasted so long.

 

So on one hand you have a culture that expects everyone to come knocking on the door and kowtow, and another culture that is founded on spreading enlightenment. So Tim shows up in China, almost with a cultural mindset that he is there to make things better, whereas they are expecting him to acknowledge that they are already the best, and start kowtowing. A real potential for misunderstanding and comedy all around.

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