Put Apple on trial to find truth

Updated: 2013-04-01 08:28

(China Daily)

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Legal evaluation is a better way than a media trial to judge Apple's "discriminatory" after-sales service in China, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

A recent China Central Television consumer protection program claimed that Apple's marketing practices in China were unfair, For example, it gives shorter warranty periods compared with other countries, uses refurbished parts for repairs and avoids after-sales obligations. Some media outlets have used the CCTV program to say that the US tech giant's market strategy in China is "arrogant" and it has violated the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests.

Such negative news reports would come as a shock for any other company, but Apple seems least bothered because of its brand value. While many enterprises treat their customers as gods, most Apple products' consumers do the opposite - they consider Steve Jobs as god - and thus ignore the harsh terms imposed by the company.

So it came as no surprise when Apple responded to the critical media reports by saying that it offered "unique consumer experience" in China and has "never violated" any Chinese law. Of course, the media labeled its response arrogant, too.

Moreover, the China Consumers' Association has also said that some of Apple's provisions violate the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests. If this is the case, legal proceedings should be started against Apple to end the controversy, and the company should be fined if found guilty and declared scrupulous if not.

(China Daily 04/01/2013 page9)