Apple and China seem made for each other, so why is China attacking Apple?

“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


  1. Ok, or the people of China want Apple products and devices and the rest of the competition selling their copy cat crap products are going to go kicking and screaming right up to the last minute to slow Apple down to delay the RoadKill event as long as possible.

    1. I suspect that you have very little exposure to the world to make such comments with any credibility. Try traveling to the next state at least before you post again about a country you have never even seen.

      1. Geez! You again dopey? Never give up do you? Well, I have been to China. Twice. How about you? As someone with no life, you must have plenty of time on your hands? I’m glad to see that I get under your skin. Got any more anti-American comments to make today? I’m sure we all love to see them. Go ahead. Dig your own hole. We Americans will gladly fill it in with you in it. Fuck nut.

        1. Everyone has a right to express their opinion even 3. Who cares what he thinks about a company? It’s just a company. It’s just a business. But he has made very anti-American comments which I will not put up with.

            1. Well, there’s always an exception to the rule. I’ve been to Canada a number of times and love it. Overall the people are very friendly and gracious. This guy just happens to be a prick. Go figure.

    1. What? No anti-American comment from you? I guess you just woke up and you weren’t thinking clearly? C’mon, let’s hear your latest tirade against the good old USA. Fuck nut.

      1. @GM
        Can you do anything besides call people names? Do you have ANY actual thoughts to contribute, with ANY logic tying them together.
        Calling someone “anti-American” or “arrogant” (Silverhawk) is empty. Any grade 6 drop-out can call people names.

        1. GM and 3 have an ongoing love/hate relationship. I would ignore it, but I can’t stand the language that GM keeps choosing. Really filthy language is not professional, it is bullying (which needs to stop) and it has no good purpose in a public setting.

          1. @ SixnaHalfFeet
            Yes, indeed. I wish MDN would have SOME kind standard of civility — maybe even going so far as to require any post to contain at least one actual thought, rather than merely emotion-driven raging.

            1. Goodness gracious I do have thoughts. And express them. As a professional who has used Macs to make a living for decades I hardly need to answer to you. Anytime you would like to discuss Apple hardware, software, applications ProTools,Final Cut etc. just let me know. Probably best if we each mind our own business. I’m sure you’re a swell fella.

  2. pppppfffffffft yeah whatever. At least China is sticking up for its own businesses. We could only wish the the US and its malfunctioning IP/patent system and courts would do the same for US based businesses rather than selling out to Korea. Yep, lookiong at you Lucy Koh and SameDung

  3. I’d love to have those new data centers in Oregon/Nevada to actually turn out to be manufacturing plants so Apple can just say, “bye” to all these hassles. Oh, and on another note, you commenters should just ignore each other; fuel for the fire, etc.

    1. Because it is very cool to be ignorant and stupid. The smart kids have always gotten razzed — but I think this has become MUCH stronger over the decades.
      The one thing that most markedly distinguishes us from dogs, fish and beetles is our intellectual capability. And yet, that exact capability is suppressed — not only in the middle of some gang-riddled area, but even at high levels of government. It has become popular to deride the city-slickers and the intellectuals – e.g. by the category 5 moron, Palin, and her like.
      PRIDE in ignorance and stupidity is the kiss of death.

      1. I know this is an ‘environment’ factor, versus genetic factor. As with psychological illness labeling, it is irresponsible to simply toss on a label and say that is what the thing ‘IS’. We never know everything about anything, my usual mantra.

        Someone told me last year that a sign of a civilization in decline is its accelerated adoration of the lowest common denominator within its culture. Translated: Everyone is encouraged to become TRASH and revel in it.

        I was raised in an entirely different culture where we were all competing to be smarter than each other to the point of dysfunction, sort of the other extreme loon level. I also don’t have the relational mandate of many other personalities who run down our civilization to the bow wow level or lower. Therefore, I spend more time than is useful wondering what is wrong with these people and why don’t they attempt to become better people rather than worse. That is my POV.

        1. Yes.
          By the way, I have NO disrespect towards someone who grows up, because of circumstances, very ignorant. What I’m criticizing here is the glorification of ignorance, pride in being ignorant, and the denigration of intellectual achievement and knowledge.

          1. I live in a city. One subculture of our city, it doesn’t matter who as this is entirely a human phenomenon, DEMANDS that the kids be ignorant and deceitful. Anyone breaking away from that mandate is hunted down, hurt or killed.

            I call this the human self-destructive imperative. I spend a lot of my thinking time trying to understand WHY. Whatever this problem of ours is, it has the power to drive us over that legendary lemming cliff via our arsenal of self-destructive weapons. That was certainly the concept obvious to my generation, just after the goofy hippy era.

      2. I’m current pushing the buttons of an idiot with the nick ‘TowerTone’ who comes off as being Rush Limbaugh in the flesh. It is staggering how low this person dives in order to attempt to win an argument. The guy is a perfect illustration of this phenomenon. Then there are the people who pay attention and dive down to the bottom with him. What a loss of humanity.

  4. There is only one reason why the Chinese government would stoop to getting itself involved in denigrating a company that was as popular, profitable, and already well entrenched in China as Apple:

    Non-compliance with the governments security and censorship guidelines.

    Recall, the same thing happened to Google back in the ‘aughts. They were early in China, established strong official connections with government & business, were making good money, and was the most popular search engine by a wide margin among the people using the internet at that time … then, because they were allowing people to find info on the Tianamen Square massacre & so forth, they started getting hammered by the government when they wouldn’t play ball in becoming part of the surveillance state’s apparatus. In short order, despite it’s world (and China) wide dominance in search & an established presence on the mainland, Google was put on the shitlist & frozen out of a lot of things it needed government approval for. Eventually, even after Google caved to Chinese government demands by modifying it’s search results & providing tracking information of it’s users to the government (the beginning of the ‘Who said don’t be evil? Not us!’ era), said government never really let them off the hook. Baidu was invented to make sure Google never became as dominant in search in China again.

    Apple is now getting very similar treatment. And even though neither side is really saying why (reasons: the government doesn’t want the human rights PR hassles, & Apple doesn’t want to take anymore hits to their stock price … Wall St. would care less about principled stands against totalitarian governments), those who know how these things work in China understand what’s most likely going on behind the scenes.

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