Apple has apologised to Chinese consumers after being targeted by a Chinese media campaign accusing the iPhone manufacturer of ignoring customer complaints and concerns.
Government controlled media in China had attacked Apple’s alleged “arrogance” and accused the company of “throwing its weight around”.
State broadcaster CCTV and the newspaper People’s Daily led the charge against Apple, accusing the American company of offering Chinese customers shorter warranties and only offering refurbished parts for repairs rather than providing brand new replacements as in other countries.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, posted an apology on the Chinese Apple website, saying the company had entered a period of “deep reflection” following the accusations and would be revaluating its repair policies and customer communication in the country.
“We are aware that owing to insufficient external communication, some consider Apple’s attitude to be arrogant, inattentive or indifferent to consumer feedback,” wrote Cook. “We express our sincere apologies for causing any consumers any misgivings or misunderstanding.”
Apple would now be offering full replacement services for any iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S handsets and a brand new one-year warranty for any replaced devices, with the iPhone 5 already offered with such a system.
“[We] have much to learn about operating and communicating in China,” Cook added.
Although Apple enjoys a strong Chinese consumer base, the sheer anger of the attacks has led the company to attempt to smooth its relationships with its Asian customers and their authorities.
Thousands of Chinese residents took to online forums to defend Apple following the backlash in the mainstream press. The Apple fans accused the Chinese government of keeping silent when Chinese companies were implicated in various scandals, but were quick to judge when an American company came under scrutiny.
China is Apple’s second largest market, after the US, with first quarter sales in the country amounting to $7.3 billion (£4.8 billion) in Greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong.
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