Apple’s apology in China a rite of passage for foreign brands

“Apple Inc. (AAPL) Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook apologized to Chinese consumers after two weeks of being lambasted by state-run media for arrogance and poor customer service,” Bloomberg News reports. “The company’s offense? It failed to replace the back covers of iPhones after repairing electronics inside.”

“Corporate mea culpas have become a rite of passage for international companies criticized by China Central Television, including Volkswagen AG, Carrefour SA and Yum! Brands Inc.,” Bloomberg News reports. “The attacks on Apple come five months after sales of Japanese-brand cars plummeted due to a territorial dispute over uninhabited islands. An official in the administration’s news office who declined to be identified wouldn’t comment on whether Apple’s warranty policies broke any laws. ‘It is completely normal for the Apple company to apologize to Chinese consumers, and I think such action is commendable,’ Hong Lei, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said during a briefing in Beijing today.”

Bloomberg News reports, “In a change, Apple will now offer full replacements of iPhone 4 and 4S models, and the warranty will be reset to one year at that point, Cook said in a letter posted on the company’s Chinese website. Previously, the company provided new parts attached to the back of the customer’s existing iPhone, and didn’t extend the warranty. Apple also vowed to improve training, customer service and monitoring of stores authorized to sell its products in China.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How “foreign” is Apple to China, really, when without Apple Inc., hundreds of thousands of the highest quality, highest paying Chinese assembly jobs — whose very existence will ultimately benefit tens of millions of workers across the Chinese electronics industry — simply would not exist?

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14 Comments

  1. China is the new and larger, more clumsy, North Korea. Same old politics but in a bigger, sloppier, and greedy way.

    America needs to awake to the world and the way it runs.

    In country A, you will need to pay bribes X,Y and Z. Use tax form xxxx-xx to claim these on your 1040.

    In country b, you should expect and budget for small companies to sue you for totally stupid things and they will win, however, anything you sue for will be a lost cause. Budget for it. Use IRS form yyy-yy to account for this known expense to business.

    In many small countries, bribes to head officials will not be as money but rather as objects. Cars, computers, iPods, iPads, iPhones, Macs, etc. When claiming this expense to business, attach a copy of the item, and show the US. receipt on IRS form zz-zz. Since this item can be faked easily, be prepared to show IRS auditors your export paperwork to prove that the item actually went overseas.

    Well, you get the idea.

    Just a very sad thought for a tuesday.
    en

  2. Tim Cook has not a clue of dealing with or in China. Pretty much the same situation as in the USA. Apologize or not apologize. Speak or not speak. Makes no difference. AAPL continues to plunge. Will go on until he departs. Nothing but an announcement of his retirement is worth writing about. Anything else is meaningless and a waste of time.

    1. And who do you think should take over? The mole? Balmer? Who else? No one compares to SJ. But of the rest, TC is still head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. At least TC is letting the R&D thinkers work in line with SJs wishes. Any other leader would start directing (controlling or slashing) the whole development teams as well as marketing and administrative. TC is doing a fine job!

    2. Get a clue. This is simply China’s way of getting foreign companies to get in line with how China wants things to be done within its borders. Nothing more, nothing less.

      This is much less of a fuss than Walmart paying bribes in Mexico, which is a rather silly “scandal”. If Walmart (or any other company) didn’t pay off those local officials, they wouldn’t get to open their stores. That’s part of doing business in that country. What Apple is doing in China is part of doing business in China.

      TC knows what he’s doing. That’s why he issued the apology and why Apple is making changes. Very smart by him because Apple is just scratching the surface of its potential China sales.

  3. Look into the mirror, China. How great is it about yourself? What quality things you have innovated and provided to the world?

    Cockroach and human are both living creatures on earth but you people choose to be more like cockroach. You should be ashamed of such spiritless living.

  4. Just a bit xenophobic. I mean seriously? What has China innovated and provided to the world?

    I’d start with Gunpowder.
    Paper.
    Ink.
    Printing.
    Pottery.
    Spaghetti (Pasta, i.e. noodles). Yum!
    The Compass
    The Mechanical Clock
    Small Pox Inoculation
    Abacus

    More recently?

    Anti-ship ballistic missile, Maglev wind power generators…

    Lots of stuff. Modern technology assembly plants also.

    We are very different people from the Chinese. Our history is minute in comparison. Theirs is ancient and steeped in tradition. I wonder where they would be now if Communism had not been introduced. I believe the shift to Communism arrested their development and stalled their industrial revolution.

    Never under estimate them though.

    We have many problems now that we shouldn’t have, problems the Chinese have already dealt with. We have our own mini-Marxists, a uniquely American proletariat believing they are entitled to something simply because they exist. And they are ripe for mindless rhetoric as we’ve seen with election success of President Obama and things like the Occupy Movement. In comparison, China has over 3 times our population living under a totalitarian system, and as their unique blend of Communism gives way to an equally unique, highly nationalistic capitalism, with what, 1.5 billion people cheering “China!” I wonder if an increasingly socialist America with one whining generation after the next will continue to be able to compete, let alone maintain an effective military presence in the Pacific.

  5. “How “foreign” is Apple to China, really?”

    As foreign as documented and undocumented workers are in the USA; when without these workers, hundreds of thousands of the best USA companies simply would not exist.

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