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Samsung Electronics

Samsung insists Note 7 in China is safe after 6th reported battery explosion

A Note 7 smartphone caught fire while a salesman was demonstrating it in southwest China, according to an online audio recording

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 September, 2016, 8:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 September, 2016, 10:57pm

Samsung Electronics sought to reassure customers that its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone sold in China is safe, after mainland media reported claims of another battery explosion.

A Chinese Internet user posted an audio recording online on Wednesday, saying that a Note 7 started to emit smoke when a salesman was testing it at a market in Beihai city, Guangxi province, according to Beijing News.

The device was dropped to the ground in front of several witnesses after it caught fire, according to the audio recording which was released on weibo.com, China’s most popular microblogging site.

It’s the sixth case of the handset catching fire in the mainland, the report said.

Samsung called a halt to worldwide sales of its flagship Note 7 on September 2 amid reports of the device’s battery exploding when it is charged.

The recall did not, however, cover the mainland and Hong Kong, where Samsung claims it sells Note 7 units with non-defective batteries from Chinese supplier Amperex Technology.

Samsung did not refer directly to the latest case, but released a statement on its Chinese official website on Thursday repeating previous assurances that there are no safety problems with its Note 7 sold in the mainland and no need for a large-scale recall of the device there.

Only 1,858 Note 7 smartphones, some of which were sold in China before the Sept 1 launch as part of a testing scheme, needed to be recalled because they contained batteries with the potential safety glitch, the company said in the statement.

All the rest of the Note 7 smartphones sold in China are equipped with non-defective batteries, according to the statement.

Samsung said it would investigate any reported safety problems with the Note 7 in China, using an independent third-party inspector.

A study released last week by mobile internet consulting firm iiMedia Research showed that 51.9 per cent of 12,000 mainland survey respondents said they would not buy Samsung smartphones in light of the Note 7’s exploding battery concerns.

Some 37 per cent said they would consider buying an iPhone to replace their Samsung smartphone, while 26.3 per cent said they would purchase a Huawei handset instead.