Linked by KLU9 on Mon 18th Mar 2013 09:22 UTC
Apple Every year on World Consumer Rights Day (March 15), government-controlled China Central Television (CCTV) broadcasts a special report (in Chinese) damning companies for abusing Chinese consumers. This year the targets included Apple. Apple was accused of giving Chinese consumers worse service than customers in other countries, specifically of giving them replacements that included cases from their old phone, while customers in the UK would get a 100% new product.
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KLU9
Member since:
2006-12-06

The issue isn't really whether Apple did something wrong (which is perfectly likely).

It's whether there's a coordinated, paid campaign by a party/government broadcaster to denigrate a major smartphone player in what is the world's biggest smartphone market, and what that implies about the party/government's intentions for smartphone OSes (remembering that this is a party/government can and has imposed anti-foreign tech standards locally, in areas like mobile phone signal tech http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TD-SCDMA ).

The Chinese Party/Govt's habit of interference has already deterred Apple from being officially supported by the major carrier (because the iPhone doesn't support the China-only TD-SCDMA standard). Consumer desire has overcome that obstacle, but it looks like the party/govt is beginning an assault on that too.

And the long-term issue is what such interference in the world's biggest smartphone market could have on the smartphone business & ecosystem in the rest of the world.

Reply Parent Score: 4

someone Member since:
2006-01-12

I thought the App Store was the friction point between Apple and China Mobile.

Reply Parent Score: 2

someone Member since:
2006-01-12

If the Chinese government had really wanted to shut down foreign technology standards, they would have not allowed China Unicom (the second largest carrier) to deploy WCDMA, nor China Telecom (the old monopoly service provider) to deploy CDMA2000. Those sorts of things would require licenses in any other countries. The reason they are pushing local technology standards was to pay less patent licensing fees to foreign entities, so that they can keep more money in the local economy. This is particularly evident in the development of their high speed rail network. In exchange for access to the huge Chinese market, the Ministry of Railways negotiated permanent technology transfer agreements (they obviously wouldn't accept patent protection money) with Kawasaki (Shinkansen), Alstom and Bombardier. Siemens did want to transfer their technology in the first round of negotiations, so it did not get any contracts... In the end, Siemens had to swallow their pride (otherwise they are completely shut out of the Chinese market), and offer to transfer their higher-speed designs to the Chinese in the second round of negotiations.

Reply Parent Score: 3

KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

A big part of present & past actions are definitely about patent fees, I agree.

But Android (which is their main worry, link in FP) is given away free (and I don't think Chinese companies have made patent-troll-appeasement deals with Microsoft the way Samsung et al. have).

So I feel it's more about wanting to shape the future in a way they can control or at least restrain. Perhaps an analogy is their attitude to the internet/web. They don't block it completely, but they do impose restrictions, throttles and *some* blocks on foreign players to shape it more to their liking.

Seeing how important the mobile net/web is becoming (and how many mobile apps exist to circumvent existing party/govt controls), I suspect they'd like to do the same with that. And they understand just what a big part the OS provider plays in shaping the user's access & experience (basically the same reasons why Google makes & gives away a mobile OS in the first place).

They'd much rather that level of influence over the end user was in the hands of someone they can control i.e. a domestic company.

Edited 2013-03-19 10:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4