Chinese regulator: Consumers must be protected against Apple's Chinese warranty practices

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A notice sent out by China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce on Thursday requested authorities to take action against Apple's reportedly harmful after-sales service, but offered no specifics as to what the company has done wrong or how to fix it.

China Apple Care
Apple's Chinese Apple Care webpage. | Source: Apple


The notice, calling for tighter supervision of Apple's dealings in China, was cited by the state-run China National Radio, reports Reuters, and appears to be part of a government led crusade against the Cupertino company.

CNR said the announcement was in direct response to "widespread reports" that Apple's warranty service is hurting Chinese consumers. According to the media outlet, these reports were first seen on March 15, the same day that state-run China Central Television attacked Apple in its annual "Consumer Rights Day" piece meant to expose the iPhone maker's bias "against Chinese consumers in its warranty and customer service policies."

Ultimately, the smear campaign backfired after a series of suspicious posts popped up on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. In the messages, a number of notable celebrities showed support for the broadcast, though one from actor Peter Ho included the phrase, "Need to send out at about 8:20 pm," suggesting that at least some of the anti-Apple rhetoric was premeditated as many posts hit Weibo at the specified time.

At issue is Apple's warranty practices in the country, which critics claim is inadequate compared to services offered elsewhere in the world. Some critics say the company offers shorter coverage periods in China, while others report broken devices are replaced by refurbished products instead of brand new units.

Apple countered the accusations last week, saying that its existing warranty policies were nearly the same worldwide, with deviations allowed for regional laws.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 66
    erannerann Posts: 37member
    China has warranty practises?
  • Reply 2 of 66
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,996member
    It's the good old China shakedown. Bastards.
  • Reply 3 of 66
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Apple: Consumers must be protected against disgusting, pathetic, hilarious, laughable, shameful, dishonorable Chinese knock-offs.

  • Reply 4 of 66
    I know it would never happen, but would be great to pull out of China, both for parts and sales.
  • Reply 5 of 66


    Funny... I'm guessing that the LAST thing the good folks living in China NEED is 'protection' from Apple.  Maybe the Chinese government should spend a moment or two in front of mirror before they start pointing accusatory fingers?

     

  • Reply 6 of 66
    If China (government) had its way, it would take over Apple's Chinese factories and take the product and money for themselves.
  • Reply 7 of 66
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I wonder if some of this pressure is intended to stop Apple from improving Chinese working conditions? No other company has stepped up to do that.

    Apple IS dependent on China for now. It's not about wages. There's no comparable supply chain and rapid adaptability of manufacturing in the US. But over time, I wonder what Apple's big cash hoard might be able to build in the US? I'm sure Apple's considering their toe-hold in US manufacturing as something with the possibility to become more--not soon, but in years to come. (Better to have a long-term backup plan than no backup plan at all!)
  • Reply 8 of 66
    What the heck is going on with America? China breaking into corporate computers to steal our best work, Samsung keeps selling stolen product ideas, and thousands of Americans defend both of these regimes as if they owe them their lives. Sad.
  • Reply 9 of 66
    whytoiwhytoi Posts: 43member


    Simple commercial tit for tat.


     


    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/28/us-usa-cybersecurity-espionage-idUSBRE92Q18O20130328


     


    Poor Apple, caught in the middle.


     


    As for those who think cyber espionage only goes one way, where do you think all that cyber warfare budget went? Surely no one thinks that Chinese computer networks are more sophisticated and are less penetrable by elite US hackers/IT soldiers.

  • Reply 10 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'm sensing a lot of animosity toward the Chinese here. :\
  • Reply 11 of 66
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 192member
    %u6C92%u6709%u53CD%u624B%u4E00%u64CA (no back hander)
  • Reply 12 of 66
    China...where stealing IP and government secrets is encouraged by the authorities, where home-grown companies are allowed to manufacture and sell billions in pirated products, where more DDOS and spam attacks originate, where human rights are nice, in theory, where they want to now regulate an American company's after-market warranty? Pffft.
  • Reply 13 of 66
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I'm sensing a lot of animosity toward the Chinese here. image


     


    Can you provide quotes?


     


    I'm only sensing animosity towards the Chinese government, mixed with a couple comments expressing legitimate concern for the Chinese themselves.

  • Reply 14 of 66
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,679member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I'm sensing a lot of animosity toward the Chinese here. :\

    Just towards the Chinese government.
  • Reply 15 of 66
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by buckalec View Post

    %u6C92%u6709%u53CD%u624B%u4E00%u64CA (no back hander)


    I think you mean ??????. (enlarged because that last one is a heck of a doozy…) 




    How did you enter those characters? Just for bug purposes.

  • Reply 16 of 66
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by whytoi View Post


    Simple commercial tit for tat.


     


    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/28/us-usa-cybersecurity-espionage-idUSBRE92Q18O20130328


     


    Poor Apple, caught in the middle.


     


    As for those who think cyber espionage only goes one way, where do you think all that cyber warfare budget went? Surely no one thinks that Chinese computer networks are more sophisticated and are less penetrable by elite US hackers/IT soldiers.



     


    Not a bad theory--especially if other American companies get caught up in the same way. (I can see how Apple would make a juicy first target.)


     


    This definitely smells like it's about something other than what they say it is. Especially when they're hiring astroturfers and, now, making vague statements without dictating specific actions.


     


    What's the something? Cyber attacks are as good a guess as any, I suppose. Either a backlash from US attacks OR simply a backlash from the US letting  the world know about Chinese attacks.


     


    The US certainly has its own cyber warfare program, seemingly quite advanced (in partnership with others). Whether the US or China is ahead is not an obvious answer! Also, I'd suspect the Chinese government is slightly more likely than the US to make (and worry less about world opinion regarding) purely economic (not military/nuclear-related) attacks. After all, the Stuxnet story got out. Attacks on China by the US for purely economic reasons could get out as well and look VERY bad on the world stage (as if the US needs more reasons for that). Whereas I feel that China would just shrug and deny--they don't even hide that kind of thing much (today's story being just one example).

  • Reply 17 of 66
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,586member
    As an expat living in China for the past several years, and an avid Apple user, I can tell you that Apple's warranty and service support are excellent here in China. They replaced a dying replacement battery for free after just asking how long I had it, no receipt, even though it was the second replacement on an out of warranty machine. They authorized the replacement for FREE of the motherboard of my over 3 year old MacBook Pro at an authorized Apple repair center when the graphics chip started to malfunction. They replaced the guts of my iPhone when the home button failed, and quickly fixed a problem with my screen on a one year old 27" iMac. Wonderful service and wonderful support. This whole issue is totally made up bullshit! More than likely it is the twisting of the screws by the homegrown mobile handset makers and the State controlled equipment makers and mobile operators.
  • Reply 18 of 66
    If the Chinese authorities condone* the beating up of a visiting team of basketball players from Georgetown University...in a diplomatic contest...you know all you need to know about China.

    China is largely bereft of any moral sensibilities. That's what socialism does to the soul of a people. (It's so easily and repetitively seen when you look at Russia, North Korea, Cuba, former East Germany)




    *No authorities tried to stop the on-court gang violence. They just sat back and enjoyed it.
  • Reply 19 of 66
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    If China really wanted to put pressure on US companies (or simply help their own companies unfairly), it's easy to imagine the helpless position Apple (and others) would be in. China could easily stage industrial "accidents," fake mass "protests," fake backdated "patents," fake "epidemics" of iPhones catching fire... you name it.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CraigAppleW View Post



    ...China is largely bereft of any moral sensibilities. That's what socialism does to the soul of a people. (It's so easily and repetitively seen when you look at Russia, North Korea, Cuba, former East Germany)...


     


    You've made two errors: "a people" and "socialism." Both are used too broadly. China's abuses here are not socialist principles, and the actions of authorities are not "a people."

  • Reply 20 of 66


    @ Freerange. You certainly have had your share of problems with Apple products! Great that the Chinese Apple Stores took such good care of you, but what does that say about Apple's products - or perhaps your "luck". Thankfully, as an Apple user since 1993, my problems with hardware have been few. I am a fairly advanced computer user, so rarely have to contact Apple for tech support, but when I have, and without exception, they have always seen my issue through to a complete resolution regardless of how much time needed to be spent on it. 

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