Days after China’s state broadcaster CCTV attacked Apple for allegedly providing Chinese users with an inferior service, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily officially waded into the row on Wednesday.
In a harshly worded commentary titled “Let’s strike away Apple’s unparalleled arrogance,” , the paper criticised Apple for being “dishonest,” “greedy” - and above all - “arrogant.”
In particular, Apple has returned the considerable contributions China has made to its revenue, the editorial said, with a “swaggering arrogance” that must have originated from the "traditional superiority enjoyed by westerners".
“[Apple must have thought] why does a developing ancient oriental country deserve the same customer service as their western counterparts?”, the commentary said.
The Daily also blamed the “greediness of capital”, since Apple has “gone crazy” chasing after profit, it claimed.
“If offending Chinese customers reduces cost for Apple at zero risk, why not?,” asked the editorial.
It then went on to urge stricter law enforcement to prevent loopholes in the market.
“If you insist on challenging Chinese customers’ love and patience, and continue to be heedless, then your business will eventually decline no matter how glamorous or successful your brand is,” it said.
The Daily rolled out the commentary days after netizens lashed out at CCTV for picking on Apple and avoiding more serious domestic issues in its annual consumer rights show aired on March 15th.
CCTV’s show backfired after online evidence suggested that the crew had invited a few celebrities in advance to post Weibo messages attacking apple.
In an official statement released by Apple last week in response to CCTV’s accusations, the company denied imposing double standards on Chinese customers and said its practices were "completely legal".
But this appears to have failed to appease the authorities.
Preceding the attack from People's Daily, Miao Wei, head of China’s ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said during a summit on Monday that while Chinese phone makers have produced an excessive number of phones, the nations’ young people are lining up all night long to buy the latest iPhone models.
Miao then said there is still room for innovation even in a market as competitive as mobile phones.
Poeple’s Daily’s commentary on Apple sparked heated discussions on China’s social media on Wednesday.
“It is People’s Daily who’s being arrogant,” said one blogger. "They've lost by criticising Apple with Cultural Revolution style languages."
“Talking about arrogance, how about these state-owned Chinese behemoths?,” wrote another, citing China Mobile and Sinopec.
Many speculated that Apple must have offended Chinese authorities in a serious manner to have drawn such ruthless attack.
“Apple only advertised with local TV stations, but not CCTV, ” said a blogger. “That’s why.”
“Maybe Apple hasn’t been paying their protection fees?,” wrote another blogger in a sarcastic manner.
According to a separate report by the Beijing Times on Wednesday, officials in the capital have arrested vendors illegally selling paper models of iPhone5 to residents preparing for Tombs Sweeping Day. On this traditional holiday, families would tend to graves of the departed and offer flowers, fruit and items made of paper - such as paper money and paper clothes.