• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 6:26am

CCTV

China Central Television is the predominant state television broadcaster in China. Founded in 1958, it serves as one of the chief propaganda arms of the Communist government. In recent years, CCTV’s English-language international news coverage has undergone large-scale expansion partly as a response to Chinese President Hu Jintao’s 2007 call for further development of “soft power”.

 

NewsChina

Attacking Apple backfires for CCTV

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 March, 2013, 1:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 5:19pm

China's state broadcaster CCTV appears to have fallen victim to one of its own shows, according to Chinese netizens.

For the 23rd consecutive year, the annual show on China Central Television exposed substandard products in order to promote consumer rights and improve service. And on Friday night, it attacked Apple for allegedly providing Chinese users with inferior service.

Among allegations made by CCTV’s investigation, Apple was accused of charging its Chinese users a fee for replacing back covers of faulty iPhones - which they do for free in other countries.

Apple usually replaces phones for free instead of repairing parts, said CCTV. But for Chinese customers, the replacement doesn’t include the back cover - it costs 580 yuan (HK$724) for a new one.

The investigation also questioned Apple’s warranty policy, which doesn’t renew warranty periods for replaced phones.

About 8.20pm, after the Apple espisode was aired, celebrities and internet opinion leaders discussed it on Sina Weibo, China's twitter-like service . Among them was one of China’s leading writers of children's literature, Zheng Yuanjie, who has nearly 5 million followers on Weibo. Zheng said:

 “Chinese customers choose Apple not just for its technology, but also for its thoughtfulness, justice, care and value. I am shocked to hear Apple adopts double standards with Chinese customers and those in developed countries. After spending the same and an even greater amount of money, they receive a lower standard of service in return. I hope the missing part on Apple’s logo isn’t their conscience. “

Zheng was joined by well-known journalist Deng Fei and popular blogger “Liu Jishou” - who echoed CCTV’s criticisms of Apple.

The public mood seemed to be favourable for CCTV until around 8:26pm, when Taiwanese actor Peter Ho, posted the following message on his Weibo: “Apple plays so many tricks with their customer service? I feel hurt as an Apple fan. Have you done right by [Steve] Jobs? Have you done right by boys who sell their kidneys [to buy iphones], he asked, adding: "this is an example of big-name shops bullying customers.”

Ho’s message ended with a short line which soon became notorious: “To publish around 8.20pm.”

But it was nothing to be missed by sharp-eyed netizens and eager fans.

Minutes later, criticism, speculation and theories were posted on Weibo about Ho’s 8.20pm statement.

One theory was that Ho was part the CCTV’s plan to criticise Apple. Yet he was either too lazy or too trusting as he had obviously copied and pasted the texts without deleting the cue line meant only for him -“To publish around 8.20pm.” - instead of his 5.3 million Weibo fans.

It took two hours for Ho to “come clean” on Weibo. At 10.08pm, he deleted the previous message and posted this:

“Now it’s me in person. Someone stole my Weibo account and posted the previous Weibo. Will someone tell me what’s going on? This is ridiculous!”

Yet, Ho’s disclaimer wasn’t well received by Weibo users.

“Your post is ridiculous,” replied one blogger.

“Stop pretending,” commented another. “I guess CCTV will now ask for a refund, huh?”

On Saturday morning, Zheng Yuanjie denied on his Weibo that he had taken money from CCTV for either attending the show or posting Weibo messages regarding Apple. 

Kai- fu Lee, a founder of technology Innovation company Works and former president of Google China, admitted he had also been invited by show organisers to post comments on Weibo. He said he would have accepted the offer if the topics had been as important as “air, water, and food safety in China.”

Online debate heated up on Saturday after more netizens and celebrties criticised CCTV for sidestepping more serious issues at home and attacking a foreign company.

In a blog titled “CCTV, you are no longer qualified to talk morals to me,” outspoken writer  Li Chengpeng wrote:

“CCTV, you are blind to Chinese children being attacked at schools, but you see school massacres abroad; you never criticise fake elections at home, but always report shoe-throwings in foreign parliaments; you don’t pressure officials to disclose their assets at home, but you are so excited when a foreign official gets caught drinking a bottle of wine paid by taxpayers’ money.

“And you just can’t use your public power to get rid of big clients who don’t buy ads from you,” Li said.

In an official statement responding to CCTV’s report, Apple said: “We have been striving to exceed consumers’ expectations , and we highly value every customer’s criticsm and suggestions .” 

On Saturday morning, a popular Chinese Apple fan website also posted on Weibo, using the now famous #8.20# hashtag, a comparison of the different return policies of Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Lenovo phones. 

“You can tell the good from the bad easily,” its Weibo post said.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

charlie212
just more typical chinese mainland tactics,.....if they aren't busy polluting the planet, tainting milk, driving buses off cliffs or blowing up firework factories they'll be trying to scam someone or some company out of something. what a pathetic country
charlie212
and whatever you post is just YOUR personal opinion and should not be confused with the facts.
HiggsSinglet
Sounded like CCTV has learned a page from US politics. Bash and Blame!!!! I wonder if they looked within and compared Apples policies vs. other competitors in China? If each business needs to be localized to local needs, what is the big deal???
tfung
So what if CCTV is paying or asking for celebrities to post comments on their weibo.. The fact remains in this case, that Apple does have different policies when it comes to Chinese consumers.. Nothing can change that FACT... Whatever anyone posts online is just their personal opinion and should not be confused with what the facts are..
Kilroy238
I hate apple but this is so laughable and just like cctv. As the Chinese saying goes CCTV has 3 stories.
1. Everything in China is ok
2. Chinese officials work very hard for the Chinese people.
3 It sucks everywhere else.
newgalileo
Li Chengpeng wrote: “CCTV, you are blind to Chinese children being attacked at schools, but you see school massacres abroad; you never criticise fake elections at home, but always report shoe-throwings in foreign parliaments; you don’t pressure officials to disclose their assets at home, but you are so excited when a foreign official gets caught drinking a bottle of wine paid by taxpayers’ money. And you just can’t use your public power to get rid of big clients who don’t buy ads from you.” How true. If Apple is really to blame, it should address the matter. However, as a foreigner in China, I feel the media always love to single out foreigners or foreign companies for their misbehavior while other issues are just ignored – or censored. The quality and service of many Mainland companies are so bad, why don't they focus a bit more on that? At least BTV has an interesting evening program that shows scams and quality issues in the daily life with investigating reporting. Beats CCTV.
seppolehto@mac.com
I can tell that my experience with Apple has been very positive, I know lot of people after living in China for 12 years, in different cities which have similar experiences. That's the reason they buy Apple products. The only problem is that only the Apple store has the good warranty policies, all the others are just Chinese dealers that do whatever they want.
As a person who is dealing with the Chinese factories daily, that the importers call "The spineless thieves". They make bad quality products that will not pass safety tests and they will do nothing to compensate, only offering to buy more of the same stuff. Recently a factory sent a broken electronic device which resulted them to lose a multimillion dollar order, and they refused to give the money back for the unit. Never give the Chinese money, if it's already in their pockets nobody will help you, even if you have a receipt.
HiggsSinglet
This CCTV dude is nationalist to the hilt!!! Gotta get rid of him!!!
kusala
we should refuse using apple product.
 
 
 
 
 

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