Apology from Apple benefits all sides
Global Times | 2013-4-2 0:48:01
By Global Times
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Daily Special: People’s Daily criticizes Apple for double-standard warranties

The official website of Apple Inc. published an apology letter to Chinese consumers from its CEO Tim Cook Monday night. The CEO answered critics that called Apple's attitude "arrogant" and admitted that poor communication was to blame. He said the company would rethink its warranty policy for Apple products in China. This is the right step for Apple, and deserves credit from Chinese consumers and the media.

After China Central Television accused Apple of offering discriminatory after-sales services in China, the company responded indifferently to consumers' complaints. China's Apple fans then launched an attack on CCTV, which made the situation worse. The company's apology letter has eased the situation, softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market.

As the world's leading high-tech enterprise, Apple can adjust its attitude in a timely manner, showing its professionalism and flexibility. Its reaction is worth respect compared with other American companies. CCTV also deserves our respect and encouragement for daring to criticize a business giant like Apple.

China's market economy has experienced soaring development, while its rules are not mature enough and laws not so sound. Some international companies have not behaved well in China, and even treated Chinese customers differently to customers in other countries.

The blame should not only lie in foreign companies, but also China's business environment. Having said that, the supervision by Chinese media is absolutely justified. Making sure the Chinese market is more regulated and Chinese law binding to both Chinese and foreign companies will benefit global investors, including companies such as Apple, which relies more and more on the Chinese market.

Cook stresses poor communication in his letter. Communication is an effective way to reduce misunderstanding, however this seemingly easy approach often meets obstacles when it comes to implementation. Business interests and different values could all be the reason. 

Some Apple fans launched an offensive against CCTV. They should reflect on the fact that CCTV is trying to defend their rights. But the issue has been interpreted through a highly ideological lens. Apple, as a company, is deified by its fans. But no company can escape the supervision of public opinion. It also raised questions about Chinese mainstream media and why normal criticism against a company could backfire in such a way. The Apple incident was settled quickly, and should bring maturity to Chinese society.


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