“Apple and China seem a perfect fit. Both are secretive autocracies that have produced spectacular economic results and technological marvels — but only for those willing to abide by the strict rules imposed within their great firewalled gardens,” The Economist writes. “Apple is one of China’s most successful brands and China one of Apple’s most important markets.”

“So it is quite surprising to see the American technology firm come under repeated attack in recent days by mouthpieces for the state and Communist party. On March 15th, World Consumer Rights Day, a much-watched annual programme on CCTV, the official broadcaster, attacked Apple’s policies and practices in China,” The Economist writes. “The suggestion was that the greedy firm treated locals as second-class citizens. This week, the People’s Daily, a party mouthpiece, launched a series of vitriolic attacks that accused the firm of ‘unparalleled arrogance.'”

The Economist writes, “The CCTV exposé, which discussed warranty-repair policies, did not find anything remotely as rotten at the core of Apple’s China business. So what is really behind all this? One possibility is that the attacks are being orchestrated by a commercial rival that could gain from Apple’s misfortune… It seems more likely that Apple is the target of an officially-sanctioned attack, but which bit of officialdom might be pushing it remains unclear. Some think it might be a shakedown by CCTV, in order to encourage Apple to advertise on its channels. Others think that it is the vanity of bureaucrats at work. The ever-arrogant Apple may have failed to kowtow to the right officials in Beijing. “

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, yes, Apple is so “arrogant” because they want to preserve trade secrets (not to mention raise the standard of living and strengthen workers’ rights in China) and they till “great firewalled gardens” (that also happen to play content from the the greatest assembly of third-party providers in history) because they want their products to work well and be secure for their customers.

Sheesh, who’s propaganda is worse, China’s or The Economist’s?

Peter Ford reports for The Christian Science Monitor, “Another theory is that the campaign is retribution for America’s treatment of Chinese flagship telecoms companies. Last year, the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee issued a report urging US telecom companies to avoid doing business with Huawei and ZTE because it said that the two firms were subject to Chinese government influence and thus a potential threat to US security.”

“The report effectively froze Huawei’s and ZTE’s business in the US,” Ford reports. “The payback theory ‘sounds more plausible’ than other explanations, suggests Mark Natkin, director of Marbridge Consulting, a telecoms and IT consultancy in Beijing. ‘Just enough time has elapsed’ since the House report ‘that they can avoid it looking like tit for tat,’ Mr. Natkin says. ‘But they can make it plain that if you want to make things difficult for our companies, we can do the same for yours.'”

“Others speculate that state-owned telecom operators have dragooned the state-owned press into battle against Apple. In this view, China Telecom and China Unicom are trying to squeeze more revenue out of the deals they have signed with Apple, and are using the media for a political campaign,” Ford reports. “A secondary aim of the campaign, suggests Mr. Yao, may be to tarnish Apple’s reputation as part of a government bid to weaken the hold that foreign firms have on the Chinese smartphone market, and make more room for local manufacturers.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Manufactured Apple ire shows up for real against China’s state-owned monopolies – March 27, 2013
China slams Apple’s ‘empty and self-praising’ response to warranty complaints – March 26, 2013
What’s really behind China’s attacks on Apple and Android? – March 20, 2013
Chinese media attack on Apple exposed; backfires badly – March 19, 2013
Prominent Weibo users, Samsung spokesman paid to bash Apple – March 17, 2013
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology: Google controls too much of Chinese smartphone sector – March 5, 2013