Written by: Emily Couch
Apple apologized to China concerning their warranty policy in the country. The apology made on Monday was the manifestation of Apple’s warranty policies in the country, and underscores the challenges that Apple is facing as China is becoming a significant market for its products.
Apple was one of the targets of an investigative report on how companies that operate in China mistreat their consumers on International Consumers’ Day which took place on March 15. The Company was criticized for their after-sale iPhone customer service in China; mainly focusing on the fact that Apple gives a one-year warranty on the phone while in the law in China dictates that they must provide a two-year warranty.
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif, issued a statement in Chinese Monday. “We realize that a lack of communication in this process has led the outside to believe that Apple is arrogant and doesn’t care or value consumers’ feedback,” Mr. Cook wrote, “We sincerely apologize for any concern or misunderstanding this had brought to the customers.”
Other media outlets started to increase their disapproval over the two weeks following the March 15 criticism. Many celebrities jumped on the public bashing of Apple, posting unforgiving comments on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service.
The negative media frenzy over Apple’s warranty policies is being considered quite peculiar because of its ruthless nature. Bloggers have speculated that Chinese celebrities who have joined the “fight” against Apple’s policies have done so at the urging of the state broadcaster. This only arose after one celebrity’s post ended with: “to publish around 8:20 p.m.” Some speculate that the media blitz is a testament to the power the government holds and what it can do to American technology giants.
China is Apple’s second biggest market after the United States. Apple’s revenue reached $20 billion during last year, and in recently reported quarter sales in China attributed to about 13 per cent of the company’s total sales. That was up from 9 per cent last year.
In the past, Apple has apologized or made policy changes when there has been controversy over its product, even when the company feels the issue was blown way out of proportion. For now, CEO Tim Cook promises to improve customer service in the country.