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China: Around The Nation

Chinese student’s Samsung phone explodes, setting bed on fire

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 2:09pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 2:41pm

Photos of a university student’s badly burnt Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone have caused a stir on Chinese social media after she shared them online, saying the device exploded while she was charging it.

The student from the Henan North China Water Conservancy and Hydropower University in Zhengzhou, central Henan province, said she left the phone charging on her bed in her dormitory on Saturday night, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The device, which she said she owned for less than half a year, blew up around 6am and her bedsheets caught fire, according to the report.

The smoke from the explosion filled her dorm, the student said.

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She shared photos of the exploded smartphone and her burnt bedsheets on her Weibo account, tagging multiple official Samsung Weibo accounts in her post, asking for advice on how she should handle the damaged device.

Her post was widely circulated by other Chinese internet users and the hashtag that translates as #SamsungS7AlsoSelfExplodes has been viewed 1.5 million times on Sina Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.

Samsung said it was handling the incident but could not reveal details about it, the newspaper report said.

With rising tensions between China and South Korea over the latter’s plan to deploy an American Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system, many Chinese citizens have begun boycotting South Korean products, including Samsung’s smartphones.

Online, in response to the Henan student’s predicament, a Weibo user joked: “The US THAAD system was actually installed in Samsung devices.”

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Samsung’s phones – including the Galaxy S7 Edge – have come under fire in recent months after multiple reports worldwide of explosions caused by the devices’ batteries overheating.

Even so, the Galaxy S7 Edge won the Best Smartphone award at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, last week.

Late last month, the South Korean electronics maker released a commercial in a bid to reassure consumers that its devices were safe, saying that its safety tests for its new devices were the “toughest ever”.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 is set to be released on March 29.